Aer Lingus Dramatically Cuts Losses by 80% in first half of 2010

Airline expects to break even by end of the year

Aer Lingus has posted an operating loss of €19 million in the six months to the end of June, that’s a reduction of 80% on its operating losses during the first half of 2009.

The airline has resisted two takeover bids by Ryanair Holdings and according to chief executive Christoph Mueller, the improvements in performance are significant considering it’s been a tough year with unexpected losses due to the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis which hit Ireland and many of the regions the airline flies in and out of.

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

"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."

Aer Lingus operates both short-haul flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast to a number of European destinations including capital cities and resorts in Spain and the Balearic Islands,the Canary Islands, France, Italy, Agadir in Morocco, as well as a service from Gatwick to Malaga and long-haul flights to the USA and many other routes.

Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services to/from Ireland. The first flight, from Dublin to Bristol, took place on May 27th 1936. On October 2nd 2006, Aer Lingus entered a new phase in its history with the airline’s floatation on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, becoming a publicly quoted company and realising €400 million in equity for the airline’s future growth.

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