Aer Lingus reports smaller loss in Q1

Aer Lingus have reported smaller losses in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2011.

Announcing its results for the period from January 1 to March 31, 2012, the airline reported a loss of €36.1m in Q1 2012 compared to €53.7m in Q1 2011, 32.8% improvement.

Yield per passenger up 8.4% while passenger numbers increased by 6.6%.

Total Q1 revenue increased by 15.4% compared to prior year.

The increase in operating costs in Q1 2012 was at 5.9% despite substantial increases in fuel costs and airport charges which rose by 31.4% and 7.8%, respectively.

Long haul Q1 passenger volumes and yield up 12.1% and 11.2%, respectively, compared to the previous year.

Retail revenue per passenger increased by 8.5% in the first quarter.

Aer Lingus reported gross cash balances of €1,002 million as at March 31, 2012.

“Aer Lingus experienced an encouraging start to 2012 and the Group’s Q1 2012 operating loss of €36.1m represents a 32.8 % improvement over Q1 2011,” said Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller.

“This result is mainly due to strong yield growth, particularly on long haul. We have deliberately compensated for the continuing decline in private Irish consumer demand with an increased focus on time sensitive routes, which carry a higher proportion of business travellers.

“We now share the more upbeat view on industry trends expressed in IATA’s April 2012 airline business confidence survey and if current trends continue, Aer Lingus’ operating profit for 2012 should match that achieved in 2011. However, the performance of certain short haul routes is weaker than expected and our business continues to be subject to inflationary cost pressures.

“We remain focused on our cost base and continue to explore measures to protect the Group’s profitability for the remainder of 2012 and beyond.”

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