Business Irish

Sunday 18 February 2018

Aer Lingus reports 7.1pc decline in number of passengers

Aer Lingus: passenger numbers down. Photo: Bloomberg News
Aer Lingus: passenger numbers down. Photo: Bloomberg News

John Mulligan

Aer Lingus carried 1.021 million passengers in August, 7.1pc fewer than in the same month last year, according to figures released by the airline yesterday.

Its long-haul transatlantic passenger numbers declined 14.7pc to 99,000 during the month. On short-haul routes, the overall number was down 6.2pc to 913,000.

The load factor at the carrier -- or the percentage of seats it filled -- rose 2.7 percentage points to 85.7pc as capacity shrank 13.3pc year-on-year.

On long-haul routes, the load factor rose sharply, by 10.2 percentage points to 89.9pc, while on short-haul services it was down 1.2 percentage points to 83.8pc.

Davy Stockbrokers analyst Stephen Furlong said airlines generally were taking advantage of the fact that consumers were typically booking flights later, and the carriers were therefore not as focused on stimulating demand by lowering yields.

He said that was likely why the load factor decreased slightly on Aer Lingus' short-haul services.

Mr Furlong also said low-cost carriers Ryanair and Easyjet represented a "unique" investment opportunity in the current environment where there was increasing industry consolidation and more modest capital investment.

Air France-KLM, which owns Dublin-based airline Cityjet, said its overall traffic fell 1.2pc in August, with the heaviest declines recorded on its services to Africa and the Middle East.

Irish Independent

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