AER LINGUS has reported growth in revenues and passenger numbers and a higher operating loss for the first half of the year.
Revenues were up 5pc in the second half to €657.9m with a strong performance in long-haul.
A solid second quarter operating profit of €29.1m came despite the timing of Easter and weakness on UK routes which has impacted short haul revenue growth year on year.
Aer Lingus had over €1bn in gross cash at 30 June 2013.
However, the airline put a higher operating loss of €16.4m for the first half down to as contract flying start up costs, planned changes to the long haul fleet, maintenance costs, foreign exchange and weaker trading on UK routes.
Commenting on the results, Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ CEO said: “Aer Lingus is pleased to report an excellent business performance for the first half of 2013 with passenger numbers increasing by 1.3pc, load factor up 2 points and growth in fare revenue per seat across short and long haul routes.
"Our second quarter revenue performance was particularly strong. We expanded long haul capacity by 16.3pc in the quarter and successfully sold the additional seats, achieving a load factor of almost 95pc in June. Short haul continues to trade positively. However, the weakness in UK routes identified in our first quarter results has continued in the second."
Mr Mueller added that trustees at the firm will be submitting proposals to the pensions board over the €750m gap in the Aer Lingus pension fund.