Irish airline Aer Lingus turned a profit of £24.4m for the second quarter of the year as the much-anticipated takeover by the International Airlines Group (IAG) nears.
The Dublin-based carrier revealed a drop in profits of about 11 per cent from the same period last year as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, mainly the US dollar and euro, and high fuel prices hit the business.
In the first six months of this year the airline said operating losses were just under £10m compared to almost £7m for the same period last year.
Aer Lingus expects the impact of currency costs will ease as the year goes on.
Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus chief executive, used the release of the half yearly figures to once again promote the takeover by IAG.
“The adverse effects of unfavourable FX movements on performance which were evident in this quarter will moderate in the second half of the year as a result of a higher proportion of US$ denominated revenues,” he said.
“Both short and long haul capacity are set to expand into the peak season and we are very satisfied with forward yield and load factor profiles at this time.”
Mr Kavanagh added: “Finally, I would like to reiterate the view of the independent directors of Aer Lingus that the combination with IAG will strengthen Aer Lingus and will grow our airline and contribute to growth in the tourism sector and wider Irish economy.”
Aer Lingus said its 2015 half year figures showed revenue grew by 7 per cent while passenger numbers, retail and cargo business all increased.
The airline said it carried an additional 38,000 long haul passengers during the period, up 10 per cent on the same period last year, and it delivered 14.4 per cent more revenue per seat year on year.