Aer Lingus CEO, Willie Walsh (a former 737 captain with the airline) has been speaking at a Reuters business lunch today and said the following:
the airline's transatlantic traffic numbers were up 19% in the first four months of this year while European traffic grew by 35%, compared with the same period last year. He also said that the airline has set targets to add 18% more seats on its transatlantic routes and 17% more capacity on European routes by the end of the year.
Significantly, he also said that a decision on the acquisition of a single fleet type would be made in September. He didn't give any numbers, but rumours in the Irish media (not always accurate!) suggest a deal for about 30-40 aircraft worth about $/EUR1.6b. It will be the airline's biggest ever order.
The airline is also optimistic about the rest of the year and WW said that many American travellers haven't yet made up their minds about European travel and there was still a market to be won.