Aer Lingus blames Easter on short-haul traffic fall
SHORT-haul traffic at Aer Lingus fell 4.2pc to 701,000 in April, partly impacted by the timing of Easter.
Releasing data this morning, the airline said that its long-haul traffic climbed 6.3pc in the month to 84,000.
Total passenger traffic, excluding Aer Lingus Regional operations, was down 3.2pc at 785,000.
Aer Lingus Regional, which is operated by Aer Arann, carried an additional 83,000 passengers in April, up 5.1pc year-on-year. Aer Arann recently took delivery of the first of eight new aircraft that will help it expand services. It operates all its flights under the Aer Lingus Regional brand as part of a franchise agreement with the larger airline.
While Aer Lingus said its short-haul traffic figures were dented by the timing of Easter, the airline also said recently that during the first quarter of the year its UK business had been challenging, hit be softer demand and weaker sterling.
Some analysts believe that Aer Lingus is experiencing strong forward bookings on its long-haul services, which the airline is already boosting for the summer season. Aer Lingus is also leasing aircraft that it will use in summer 2014, enabling it to use existing aircraft to service routes to destinations including San Francisco and Toronto.