Aer Lingus reduces first quarter loss

Aer Lingus Group has issued an unaudited interim management statement for the first quarter of the calendar year, equating to the first three months of the Group’s financial year, showing the operating loss of 1Q09 almost halved in 1Q10.

Total revenues for 1Q10 decreased by 1.8% to 230.0 million from 234.1 million, with the operating loss for 1Q10 being €37.8 million compared with a loss of €74.8 million in 1Q09.

The average fare per passenger from short haul and long haul operations increased by 3.0% and 12.4%, respectively. This led to gross cash balances increasing by €90.4 million since 31 December 2009 to €918.9 million.

Total operating costs rose from 267.9 million to 308.9 million, a 13.3% increase.

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’s CEO commented, “Our 1Q10 operating result represents a significant improvement over the corresponding period in 2009. We have also achieved meaningful progress on several of the key strategic objectives set out at our Investor Day in January.

“We have adopted a disciplined approach to yield management, which has arrested the decline in average fare per passenger that we experienced in 2009; we enhanced our network with the launch of our extended codeshare with United Airlines and the Aer Lingus Regional franchise [with Aer Arann] in March; and the Greenfield programme is now under way and staff savings with an annual value of €18 million have already been achieved.

“While we are very encouraged by first quarter trading, it is nonetheless appropriate to remain cautious on full year 2010 performance,” Mueller concluded.

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