Aer Lingus back to profitability and recovering well
Aer Lingus recorded an operating profit before exceptional items of €45 million for the full year 2022, a solid performance showing that the airline is recovering well following two years of significant losses. This compares to a pre-pandemic 2019 operating profit before exceptional items of €276 million.
Aer Lingus ramped up its operations significantly in preparation for the summer peak and continued to rebuild its network, reaching 2019 capacity levels for quarter four 2022. Losses before exceptional items of €95m in the first half of the year were offset by €139 million operating profit before exceptional items in quarter three and followed by €1m operating profit before exceptional items in quarter four.
Leisure travel has been key to recovery particularly in the peak holiday periods, with business travel also recovering but at a slower pace. There has been high market demand for European sun destinations and North Atlantic routes, with notable strength in inbound US passengers. The new Aer Lingus Manchester base also performed well in its first full year of operations.
2022 saw Aer Lingus welcome almost 1,000 new people into the airline and take delivery of two Airbus 320 neo aircraft, with much improved fuel efficiency and reduced noise emissions. Two Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) agreements were signed during the year – important steps on the sustainability journey.
While we are mindful that business travel recovery lags that of leisure, and that global macro-economic uncertainties causing higher oil prices, exchange rate fluctuations, rising interest rates and inflation could impact aviation this year, there is much for Aer Lingus to build on in 2023.
2023 will see Aer Lingus operating its largest ever North America network, putting additional capacity on our European leisure routes and adding three new summer routes to Kos (Greece), Sardinia (Italy) and Brindisi (Italy). Looking ahead, a continued recovery is well on track with strong forward bookings. This recovery positions Aer Lingus to rebuild financial health and invest in the business.