Tuesday 26 September 2017

Aer Lingus operating profit slips 2.9pc to €90.9m for third quarter

Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller
Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Aer Lingus remains focused on achieving additional cost savings after it reported a 2.9pc dip to €90.9m in operating profits for the third quarter of the year.

In the nine months to the end of September, Aer Lingus said operating profit was 29.7pc ahead at €86.5m compared to the corresponding period last year.

Chief executive Christoph Mueller described the results as “strong” given the tough economic backdrop and intensified competition. The summer Olympics also hit demand on its London routes in the period.

“I am particularly proud that our team has achieved this result against the backdrop of the third Ryanair offer for the group,” said Mr Mueller.

Ryanair, which already owns close to 30pc of Aer Lingus, has bid €694m for its smaller rival. It’s awaiting clearance from the European Commission to proceed with the bid.

Aer Lingus has also exceeded its previous target of €100m annual cost savings. The airline is bracing for industrial action in less than two weeks’ time as a result of staff unrest over a troubled pension scheme.

The airline said that forward bookings in the third quarter are stronger than in the third quarter last year. It’s adding an additional aircraft to its north American routes next year that will provide additional capacity on services from both Chicago and Boston to Dublin.

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