Aer Lingus swings to the red for 2014

Aer Lingus (Dublin), adding to our previous story, reported a net loss of €95.8 million ($107.8 million) for 2014, reversing the €34.1 million ($38.3 million) net profit for 2013.

Christoph Mueller Aer Lingus’ CEO commented: “The year 2014 proved the strength of our “value carrier” business model across both our short and long haul businesses. We profitably expanded our long haul network utilizing our cost advantage and favorable geographic position and helped establish Dublin as the 7th largest European hub for trans-Atlantic connections. Our short haul business continued to demonstrate its resilience despite a highly competitive market. Commercial initiatives, in addition to cost control, led to the highest operating profit since the financial crisis and 17.8% above last year.

The focus on our business is unabated and in the coming months we will invest in our customer proposition and distribution model in addition to reducing costs. Now that the complex IASS pension funding issues have been addressed, we are re-launching our CORE program, starting with the introduction of a new voluntary severance scheme at the beginning of this year.

I am delighted to hand the reins to Stephen Kavanagh at the end of this week. I know that the entire Aer Lingus team has a lot of work planned for 2015 and I am confident that they will drive further improvements in profitability, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.”

International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. (IAG” offer update:

1. Board willing to recommend the financial terms of IAG’s offer to shareholders

2. Compelling strategic rationale and significant benefits for Aer Lingus, its current and future employees, its customers and for Ireland. The combination would:

A. Enhance Ireland’s position as a natural hub for Europe on the North Atlantic; Accelerate Aer Lingus’ transatlantic, long haul growth plans;

B. Grow employment;

C. Enhance short haul growth;

D. Strengthen Ireland’s connectivity; and Provide access to a global cargo network

3. Aer Lingus has confirmed IAG’s intentions to preserve Aer Lingus as a separate operating business within the group with its own brand, management, head office and operations

Colm Barrington, Aer Lingus Chairman, said: “Our performance in 2014 was strong, with significant growth in long haul and resilient short haul operations. To enhance these excellent results and to accelerate Aer Lingus’ growth, it is the Board’s strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG. In this combination Aer Lingus will operate as a separate business while gaining access to IAG’s extensive network and benefiting from its scale. These significantly positive benefits will de-risk Aer Lingus’ future, strengthen its operations and enhance the future success of the company .”

The Irish government as we previously report, still has reservations about the sale of the flag carrier to IAG and has requested additional clarification.

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Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPT (msn 3054) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus Aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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