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Aer Lingus profit return

AER Lingus foresees a return to profits in 2011 but its biggest worry remains the fragile Irish economy as it emerges from a deep recession.

The airline, which has been trying to reverse losses it said were threatening its survival, has not participated in the wave of consolidation taking place across the industry much beyond code-sharing deals. The company, which has fended off two hostile bids by shareholder Ryanair, said it was open to talking to other airlines about potential tie-ups. "We are interested in partnerships, we are interested in extending our global network to and from Ireland," said CEO Christoph Mueller.