Aer Lingus passengers down 5pc but hopes high
Aer Lingus expects no improvement in its short-haul operations during the rest of the year, but said its US traffic "remains positive".
Releasing traffic statistics yesterday for November, the airline said total passenger traffic declined 5.7pc in the month to 641,000. Numbers on its short-haul routes fell 5.6pc to 560,000, while on long-haul they were 6.9pc lower, at 81,000. Short-haul capacity was down 3.5pc year-on-year, while long-haul capacity was 0.8pc higher.
"We do not expect any improvement in the short-haul environment for the rest of 2013, which remains characterised by heavily discounted fare offerings across Europe," said the airline. "The 2013 outlook on long-haul remains positive with the exception of some weakness expected in November".
In the year to date, Aer Lingus has carried just under 8.98 million passengers. That compares with slightly over nine million in the corresponding period last year. Long-haul numbers are 12pc higher at 1.01 million, while short-haul is 1.6pc lower at 7.96 million.
Aer Lingus Regional, the service operated on a franchise basis by Aer Arann, carried 87,000 passengers in November compared to 86,000 in November 2012. In the year to date, it was carried 1.02 million passengers, up 10.7pc on the corresponding period last year.
Aer Lingus Regional this week announced new services from Shannon, on foot of the travel tax being reduced to zero from next April.