Aer Lingus says "ambitions, significant" development needed at Dublin Airport

Its parent company IAG has reported an operating profit of €835m

Aer Lingus says "ambitions, significant" development needed at Dublin Airport

Aer Lingus planes on the tarmac at Dublin Aiport in 2000 | Image: Chris Bacon/PA Archive/PA Images

The CEO of Aer Lingus has said "ambitions significant infrastructure development" is required at Dublin Airport.

Stephen Kavanagh was speaking as the airlines' parent company, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), announced an operating profit of €835m for the second quarter of the year.

That is up from €790m last year.

IAG said passenger unit revenue for the quarter was down 1.9%, while fuel unit costs were up 6.7%.

Mr Kavanagh said: "Aer Lingus has an ambitious flight path - to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic.

"This vision is enabled by a profitable, sustainable short-haul network; and is supported by a guest-focused brand and digitally-enabled value proposition.

"Todays' results are the latest manifestation of the airline's successful business model.

"We are now re-investing in the business to deliver future growth."

Pointing to investment in cabin crew, pilot and ground positions he said: "We have been undergoing a programme of positive change in response our ambitious growth strategy."

IAG owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and the newly-launched Level | Image: IAG

But he added: "In order to realise our growth ambitions significant infrastructure development and process improvement is required at Dublin Airport.

"We expect that the airport's forthcoming capital investment programme will begin to address the infrastructure deficits at the airport.

"Prior to the delivery of such infrastructure, we are hopeful that airlines can work with Dublin Airport to make significant process improvement and to optimise existing infrastructure in order to address the existing congestion and to facilitate growth."

In response, a Dublin Airport spokesman told Newstalk.com: "As acknowledged by Aer Lingus, Dublin Airport's forthcoming capital investment plan will represent a step change in investment to facilitate further long-term growth at the airport.

"Dublin Airport continues to work closely with Aer Lingus and other airlines so that the processes of both the airport and its key customers can be improved for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the travelling public."

Willie Walsh, former Aer Lingus CEO and current CEO of IAG, said: "Unfortunately, French air traffic control strikes continued to challenge our airlines’ operations causing disruption to our customers.

"Vueling was particularly affected and incurred an additional €20m of disruption costs in the quarter.

"These strikes are also having a significant negative impact on the Spanish economy and tourism."