AIRLINE Aer Lingus has reported a first quarter loss of €36.1m but said higher revenues per passenger mile will compensate for growing costs.
The company warned in February that fuel costs would cause profits to drop in 2010 from 2011.
Aer Lingus said losses were nearly a third lower than in the first quarter of 2011 and that the business is usually loss making in the quarter.
Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller said the firm is now more upbeat about the future and that if current trends continued, 2012 operating profits should match that achieved last year.
''However, the performance of certain short haul routes is weaker than expected and our business continues to be subject to inflationary cost pressures,' he added.
He said the company will continue to focus on its cost base ''explore measures to protect the group's profitability for the remainder of 2012 and beyond''.
Total first quarter revenues this year rose by 15.4pc, Aer Lingus said.
Short haul passenger numbers rose by 12.6pc to €148.9m while total flown short haul passengers - including Aer Lingus Regional operations - increased by 7.8pc.
It said its long haul passenger fares jumped 24.6pc to €52.7m in the first three months of the year - beating the airline's forecasts.