Aer Lingus punctuality is better than Ryanair`s on all routes where the two airlines compete, as measured and published by the Civil Aviation Authority.
An Aer Lingus spokesman said that the Ryanair announcement was clearly designed to mislead.
The 1997 CAA Official punctuality statistics are:
* Dublin Stansted
** Aer Lingus - 86.8% within 15 minutes
** Ryanair - 73.6% within 15 minutes
* Dublin Birmingham
** Aer Lingus - 87.6% within 15 minutes
** Ryanair - 82.7% within 15 minutes
* Dublin Manchester
** Aer Lingus - 87.3% within 15 minutes
** Ryanair - 86.2% within 15 minutes
On the Heathrow route where Aer Lingus` competitor is British Midland, Aer Lingus 1997 performance was 72.3% compared to British Midland`s 65.9%.
It is a reflection of the different values placed on good punctuality that Ryanair measure as “on-time” flights those departing within one hour.
On the issue of value, an Aer Lingus spokesman said that customers have a clear choice to make - the option which Aer Lingus offers on all routes is better customer service and quality products and services. Aer Lingus` aim is to provide value for money year round for all our customers - business, leisure and tourists. As an airline offering an added-value product, we must ensure the fare paid is in line with the product offering and the service delivered.
The evidence that customers want such service is confirmed by looking at routes where Aer Lingus and Ryanair have been in direct competition for a period of time. On UK provincial routes such as Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, Aer Lingus has gained market shares and increased load factors consistently since January 1997.
Fares: Aer Lingus fares policy is to offer the best value-for-money for all customers, business, leisure, tourist etc on a year-round basis. Aer Lingus fares to the UK start at £99 for two (averaging £49.50 per person) and no charge is made for credit card transactions.
This latest Ryanair fare costs at minimum £40 return (provided return seats are available at the £19.99 rate) plus credit card charges and customers must judge for themselves the level of customer service offered.
All Aer Lingus customers regardless of fare paid receive the following:
* Seat allocation at check-in
* No charges for credit card bookings
* Modern fleet capable of operating in most weather situations
* No charges for customers who require special services such as wheelchairs, unaccompanied minors etc
* Full support and backup of Aer Lingus staff
Aer Lingus will continue to deliver our promise for constant improvement in all aspects of our service.