Third quarter revenues up at Aer Lingus despite challenging conditions
AER LINGUS has reported a 4.4pc increase in operating profit to €94.9m on the previous year, despite what it called challenging conditions.
Revenue also grew in the same period by 1.2pc to €466.3m while operating costs also grew marginally.
The airline said that the total number of passengers, including Aer Lingus Regional operations, dropped by 0.5pc to 957,000 in October 2013 compared with last year with increased competition putting pressure at the firm.
The number of short-haul passengers were negatively affected by the good summer weather while the load factor fell 1.7pc to 82pc.
Aer Lingus reiterated that full year profits would be about €60m.
Aer Lingus issued a profit warning in September after it failed to recoup passenger numbers that declined during the summer's heatwave.
Commenting on the third quarter performance ,Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ CEO said: "As stated in our trading update on 13 September, good weather conditions and strong price competition have hurt our short haul performance."
"However long haul revenue growth was impressive and the market has absorbed the extra capacity we added on the North Atlantic this summer."
He added that he was disappointed that an ongoing process to resolve pension issues continued to have a negative impact on our ability to deliver efficiencies and cost saving measures, particularly in respect of our recent voluntary severance programme.
A Christmas strike could be on the cards at Aer Lingus after the airline's cabin crew voted for industrial action.
It is the latest in a line of dramatic strike threats at Aer Lingus - earlier this year pilots made noise about striking in support of Aer Lingus pilots protesting over pay.
Mr Mueller said today he was "still optimistic" the industrial dispute with Shannon cabin crew can be resolved without industrial action.