An improved second quarter helped British Airways owner International Airlines Group to more than double first half profits.

This came as IAG reported that its €1.4 billion offer for Aer Lingus had received acceptances representing of more than 62% of shareholdings in the Irish carrier.

IAG’s full-year outlook remains unchanged with an expected operating profit of more than €2.2 billion.

IAG saw half-year operating profits rise by 141% to €555 million as second quarter profits rose to €530 million from €380 million in the same period last year.

Revenue for the three months to June 30 was up by 11.2% to €5.65 billion.

IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: “We made an operating profit of €530 million in the quarter, up from a €380 million operating profit last year.

“At constant currency, revenue was down 1.2% with passenger unit revenue down 6.6%. Non-fuel unit costs were down 6.9% while fuel unit costs were down 12%.

“We said previously that profit improvement would be slower in the second quarter and we are on track to reach our full year targets.

“We continue to take cost out of the business, with both employee and supplier unit costs down at constant currency, and improvements in productivity levels.

“In the half year, we made an operating profit of €555 million which is up from a €230 million operating profit last year.”