Industrial unrest hits Aer Lingus passenger numbers
AER Lingus carried 680,000 passengers last month – fewer than it did in November 2011 – as the threat of industrial action weighed on the carrier.
Releasing passenger data yesterday, Aer Lingus said the number of passengers carried was 0.4pc down on November 2011.
Its short-haul services, which are more sensitive to the Irish market than its trans-Atlantic business, saw passenger numbers decline 2.2pc to 593,000 in the month.
Customers were put off after Siptu served Aer Lingus with notice of a work stoppage due to an ongoing pension scheme dispute. While the planned industrial action was called off, bookings were affected.
On its US services, passenger traffic was 13pc higher last month at 87,000.
The load factor, or percentage of available seats sold, on its short-haul services fell 3.1 percentage points to 70.5pc, with capacity having been 2.7pc lower over the period. The load factor on long-haul services was up 8.4 percentage points to 85.7pc, with capacity having risen 1.3pc year-on-year.
Aer Lingus has carried more than nine million passengers this year – 1.3pc more than in the same period in 2011.
Aer Lingus Regional, the service operated by Aer Arann, carried 86,000 passengers in November – 28.4pc more than in November 2011. In the year to date, the service has carried 927,000 passengers, a third more than in the corresponding period in 2011.
Aer Lingus shares fell slightly yesterday to close at €1.08.