The Irish flag carrier said the results were affected by €26.5 million of exceptional items and that operating profit before exceptionals was up 40.7% at €69.1 million. Those exceptional items include the costs of defending itself against Ryanair’s third attempt to take over the airline.
Passenger numbers from its mainline operations inched up 1.5% to 9.65 million, but revenue for the year grew 8.2% to €1.39 billion.
Load factor was up 2.1% to 77.7% and average yield increased 7% to €120.15. Long-haul yields remained particularly strong, up 9.6%, while short-haul yields were up 3.8%.
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller described 2012 as “an excellent year.” The airline has pursued what it describes as a “value carrier” business model with low-cost, short-haul services. It has a more traditional model on its long-haul sectors, which are focused heavily on the US.
“We believe in our new business model,” Mueller said. “Our positioning at the center of the market is allowing us to take market share from the legacy carriers as well as the pure low-cost and regional carriers.”
“In 2012, we continued to build our network of strong industry alliances, completing agreements with Etihad Airways and Air Canada. We have also extended our franchise agreement for Aer Lingus Regional services with Aer Arann.”
He added that 2013 will be a year of growth.
“We will grow our North Atlantic services by 15% this year and deploy four short-haul aircraft in a cooperation with Virgin Atlantic out of London Heathrow.”
“We will also fly one Airbus A330 aircraft during the next three winter seasons on behalf of a major European tour operator, which will improve aircraft utilization in the low season.”
(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)