Strike threat hits Aer Lingus bookings
Aer Lingus blamed the threat of strike action by pilots that hung over the airline last month as one of the reasons why its booked passenger traffic for June fell 1.7pc to 925,000.
Releasing the monthly data yesterday, Aer Lingus said that the number of booked passengers on its short-haul routes declined 1.4pc to 837,000, while the figure for its transatlantic services was down 4.3pc on June last year to 88,000.
The total booked load factor in June, or the percentage of its seats filled, was 80pc. That was 2.1 percentage points lower than in June 2010.
On short-haul routes, the load factor last month was 78.6pc, a fall of 1.1 percentage points. Capacity on Aer Lingus short-haul services rose 1.5pc in the 12 months to the end of June.
Long-haul load factor was 83.1pc, a decline of 4.1 percentage points. The airline boosted capacity on long-haul routes by 1.5pc between June 2010 and last month.
The number of booked passengers on its Aer Lingus Regional service, which is operated for the airline by Aer Arann, was 70,000.
That was almost a 71pc increase over the figure last June, just a few months after the service was inaugurated.
Analyst Joshua Goldman at Davy Stockbrokers said the first-half comparables for Aer Lingus had been "littered with one-off events", making it difficult to ascertain the underlying trend.