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Better first half of 2010 for Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Group has announced its first half results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2010 including a second quarter profit and a significant reduction on 1H09’s operating loss.

The airline’s strong operating performance for 2Q10 resulted in an operating profit of €18.8 million, compared with an operating loss of €18.2 million in 2Q09. Meanwhile the operating loss for 1H10 of €19.0 million was an 80% reduction on the operating loss in the first half of 2009.

Aer Lingus reported a double digit year-on-year increase in average yield per passenger in Q2 and continued growth in ancillary revenue to €18.32 per passenger in the first half of the year.

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus CEO, commented, "Aer Lingus has delivered a significantly improved operating result in the first half of 2010 compared to prior year. This performance has been driven by strong unit revenue growth coupled with a significant improvement in our cost base.

“This operating result was achieved despite the adverse impact of volcanic ash disruption in 1H10 as well as the continuation of difficult conditions in our key Irish market where unemployment is currently at 13.7% and where passenger numbers passing through Dublin Airport have declined by 16% compared to the first six months of 2009.

“Despite the Group’s strong commercial performance, Aer Lingus has not been complacent in addressing its cost position. The Group remains committed to implementing all aspects of the “Greenfield” Cost Reduction Programme in order to position Aer Lingus for a successful future,” Mueller added.

“For the 2010 full year, we expect to report an operating performance (before exceptional items) of no worse than break even. This would represent a good performance in difficult market conditions but is predicated on the delivery of committed staff productivity savings and no further significant disruptions to operations from industrial action or airspace closures.

“Looking to 2011,” Mueller continued, “it remains too early to provide firm guidance on the Group’s expected performance. Yields and passenger volumes will be dependent on the economic outlook in our main markets which remains uncertain. However, we expect ongoing improvement in our cost base in 2011 as we continue to implement the Greenfield cost reduction programme.”

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