Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

Aer Lingus hikes up Mueller's bonus as sales rise

AWARD: Christoph Mueller
AWARD: Christoph Mueller

Nick webb

Aer Lingus, which includes trades union boss David Begg among its board members, has hiked the bonuses awarded to chief executive Christoph Mueller and finance chief Andrew MacFarlane.

Recent filings show that that the two executives were conditionally awarded €1.14m worth of shares under a long-term incentive scheme. These awards came two months after Mueller and MacFarlane were conditionally awarded 930,000 shares worth about €1.42m at current prices.

These shares will not vest until 2015 at the earliest, tying both executives to the airline for at least two years. They will not receive the shares unless they hit certain performance targets set by the airline board.

Mueller, who has transformed Aer Lingus from a struggling, loss-making airline into a stronger regional player, is sitting on a bonus pot of 1.555m shares worth around €2.38m at current prices. MacFarlane's bonus pot is worth around €1.87m.

Last week, figures showed that Aer Lingus's plans to ramp up its transatlantic business were working well, with passenger numbers rising 17 per cent over the year.

Following lobbying by Silicon Valley technology companies, Aer Lingus has just announced plans for a new route linking Dublin with San Francisco. With Facebook, Google and LinkedIn all concentrated on the west coast of America, this direct route is seen as a huge advantage in seeking further foreign direct investment.

It has also emerged that plans to market Dublin as a rival hub to the overcrowded Heathrow for flights to the US were delivering the goods. The number of passengers flying from the UK to Dublin and then on to the US has risen a staggering 36 per cent.

Last week Goodbody Stockbrokers described Aer Lingus as "one of the best airlines in Europe". Coincidentally, Goodbody serves as corporate broker to Aer Lingus.

Irish Independent

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