The airline, which is owned by IAG, said its capacity increased by 12.1% with the introduction of an additional Airbus A330. This included areas such as maintenance, selling and IT.
Total revenue for 2017 rose 1.8% to EUR22.97 billion from the EUR22.57 billion posted in 2016, while passenger revenue rose 1.6% to EUR20.25 billion from EUR19.92 billion. Instead, rising costs in engineering (+4.2%), property & IT (+5.2%) and sales (+9.6%) reflected the impact of investment to help the business evolve.
Davy Research's Stephen Furlong is impressed by the continued strong performance of Irish airline Air Lingus, flagging operating profit flew €36m higher to €269m past year, driven by 12.1% more capacity.
Stripping out one-off items, IAG said operating profit jumped 19 percent to 3.0 billion euros - a level that however failed to match market expectations, sending the company's share price sliding 5.0 percent on Friday.
"In quarter four we reported an operating profit of €585 million, down from €620 million a year ago". The group's full-year passenger unit revenue meanwhile inched one percent lower.
Following the results, the airline group said it would launch a €500 million share-buyback program and declared a dividend of 14.5 cents a share.
IAG's airlines past year benefited from strong travel demand thanks to robust economies and low oil prices, and the company said it expected to continue to grow.
IAG said that it expected to improve its unit costs excluding the price of fuel this year on a constant currency basis.
Operating profit in 2017 rose by 18.9% to €3.02bn, as all the company's airlines reported their best-ever individual financial results.
Willie Walsh has pledged to add more seats this year even though rising concerns about industry capacity and costs knocked investor confidence in his airline group - despite solid earnings growth.