Aer Lingus announced a 83.6% reduction in its half year operating losses to €4.4 million this year compared to €26.8 million in 2011 in the seasonally weak period of travel demand before an number of exceptional items.
The Aer Lingus Christoph Muller stated “Aer Lingus has produced a good trading performance in the seasonally weak first half of 2012. The Group’s operating loss of €4.4 million represents a significant improvement over prior year. These results clearly demonstrate that our strategy of building a learner more efficient Aer Lingus is working”.
The airline carried 4.511 million passengers up 3.4% with a load factor of 73.6% up 2.6% with average yields up 6.3% with a strong performance of its long-haul business in Q2 in terms of passenger volume up 11% and yield up 10.5% and its ancillary revenue continues to grow up 9% to €84.5 million as the airline enhances it’s fare offering and ‘Sky-Deli’ on-board retailing.
The Aer Lingus Regional Franchise operation is performing in line with expectations with passenger numbers increasing by 31.1% to 447,000.
However like all carriers the airline is not immune from the high-cost fuel environment directly impacting operating costs which increased by 5.8% with fuel costs up 29.6% and airport costs increased by 8.3% due to a price increases at London Heathrow and higher passenger volume at Dublin Airport.

Central to its commerical strategy is ‘Connecting Ireland with the world’ via connectivity, partnerships and alliances. To develop existing and new partnerships the carrier plans to further development of  IT ‘Open network architecture’. On the the 30th of July it announced a new commercial agreement with Etihad Airways to code-share and interline thus expanding its global reach.
Their could be potential further opportunities at London Heathrow to establish new partnerships following the British Airways (IAG) take-over of Star Alliance carrier BMI.
On the fleet side the carrier introduced two Airbus A319s Beflast Based to the fleet to replace two leased A320s returned to lessors. The airline stated their introduction would provide opportunities for capacity/yield management thus driving on-going operational costs efficiencies. The carrier has taken a provision to re-structure its A330 Shannon maintenance operation and separately it plans to begin installation of Wi-Fi on the A330 fleet from year end.  

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 1st August 2012