Strike threat to hit Aer Lingus profits by up to 20 pct

DUBLIN, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:52am EDT

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DUBLIN, June 12 (Reuters) - Aer Lingus said on Thursday the threat of further strikes by cabin crew had damaged its bookings for the next few months and it expects operating profit to be 10 to 20 percent lower than last year.

Cabin crew at the Irish airline, who went on strike over the busy June bank holiday weekend in a row over rostering and job cuts, had indicated on Wednesday they would defer two further days of strikes scheduled for mid-June after mediated talks.

However, just two weeks ago Aer Lingus maintained its guidance for operating profit to be in line with last year's 61 million euros ($83 million), it said the threat of a second wave of strikes had caused significant damage to trading.

"This has been particularly noticeable in recent days following increased media coverage and commentary," Aer Lingus said in a statement. "The outcome will depend in part on the speed with which we can win back customer confidence." ($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by David Holmes)

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