Cost-cutting talks held as Aer Lingus reports €81m loss
Aer Lingus today reported an operating loss of €81m for last year as board members held an emergency meeting to consider cost-cutting plans.
Despite an increase in passenger numbers of almost 4pc, the company saw total revenue for 2009 slump by 11pc to just over €1.2bn.
The carrier was in the red by €93m for the first half of last year but recorded an operating profit of €12m for the second six months.
Aer Lingus said a strong performance in ancillary revenues had been offset by lower fares and a reduction in cargo revenue.
Average fares for the year declined by 16.8pc on 2008 - a 12pc fall on short-haul flight ticket prices and a 15.9pc cut in long- haul fares.
The publication of the unaudited trading update comes hours after Aer Lingus craft workers joined pilots and administration staff in backing the airline's radical €97m cost-cutting drive.
The airline had been due to publish its full results for the year but postponed the announcement after the outcome of the ballot was delayed.
Only cabin crew have refused to row in behind the massive restructuring plan which will lead to about 600 redundancies and pay cuts.
The board will now meet to consider its options after the rejection.
Aer Lingus, which has fended off two hostile bids by rival Ryanair, has warned it may be forced to make 1,100 lay-offs if the restructuring plan, hammered out in several months of talks with unions, is not accepted.
It has also said routes will also be scaled back if the deal brokered at the Labour Relations Commission fails.