A tale of two airlines: Pandemic leaves Aer Lingus and Ryanair in very different places

Aer Lingus, which posted a half-year operating loss of €200 million, is hoping the resumption of travel to the US next month will ease its financial difficulties, while Ryanair has cash reserves of more than €4 billion and is heading for a busy run-up to Christmas and into the new year

Planes grounded during lockdown: Aer Lingus estimates it lost about €1 million a day over the first half of 2021. Picture: Getty

After an incredibly difficult and unprecedented 18 months, there was finally some cause for optimism in Aer Lingus HQ last week after the US announced it will end its travel ban on European air passengers from November.

The Biden administration didn’t provide an exact date in November for when this would happen, but the announcement has given Irish and European consumers some confidence to begin booking trans-Atlantic flights once again.

For Aer Lingus, the resumption ...