A strong performance in the second quarter from Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, marking its last quarter as a single entity with its first second quarter operating profit in its history.
Vueling of course this month completed its merger with fellow Barcelona-based budget carrier ClickAir, but today's second-quarter operating profit of €13.4 million ($19 million) was for the old Vueling operation only. It marks a sharp turnaround on the carrier's financial problems of a couple of years ago - it made operating losses of €13.7 million and €11.3 million in the second quarters of 2007 and 2008 respectively - and the successful implementation of its restructuring and shift in emphasis to increase focus on business travellers. Vueling's second quarter operating profit was before restructuring costs, but the carrier says its profit over the last 12 months already offsets restructuring costs, enabling it to break even on a 12 month rolling basis.
Against this background and with the prospect of synergy savings from the merger - which new Vueling chief executive Alex Cruz, former head of Clickair, describes at its number one priority in the coming months - the airline is forecasting a full-year pre-tax profit for 2009 after restructuring costs
And to read about another European budget carrier enjoying a record second quarter, see our recent blog about Norwegian.