Ryanair quarterly profits more than double despite terror attacks

Ryanair quarterly profits more than double despite terror attacks

Ryanair managed to more than double profits as lower fares prompted by the Paris terrorist attacks attracted 20% more passengers in the three months to December.

The European budget airline giant today reported a net profit of €103 million for the airline’s third quarter against €49 million in the same period in 2014.

The number of passengers carried rose to 24.9 million from 20.8 million as average fares dropped by 1% to €40.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “Following a strong first half of Q3, we noted weaker pricing and bookings immediately after the terrorist events in Paris and Brussels. 

“We reacted to this softness by running price promotions and discounted fares to stimulate double-digit traffic growth. While average fares fell 1%, this was offset by lower unit costs.”

The load factor was up by five percentage points to 93% year-on-year.   

The strong load factors mean the carrier has raised its annual traffic target from 105 million to 106 million passengers.

O’Leary said the airline was “comfortable” with its full-year guidance that net profits will be towards the upper end of the €1,175 million to €1,225 million range. 

“We caution, however, that this guidance is heavily dependent on the absence of further unforeseen events impacting close-in bookings and yields in Q4, especially over Easter, where we are working to deliver 26% traffic growth,” he said

O’Leary revealed that costs fell by 5% in the quarter to December 31 and fuel, which represents 40% of the Ryanair cost base, was down 10% per passenger.

He added: “In January we concluded new five year pay and conditions deals with all 76 pilot and cabin crew bases.

“These long term agreements, along with our low-cost aircraft deliveries, ongoing fuel savings, growth discount airport deals, low-cost bond financing and personalised marketing via our new website will ensure that Ryanair continues to lower its unit cost base while our competitors see their costs rise.”

Further initiatives will be announced over the coming months as the airline moves into the third year of its ‘Always Getting Better’ scheme.

“We are finalising our winter 2016 schedule and will announce more new routes and destinations during February,” O’Leary added. “This will include our first Romanian base (Timisoara) which opens in November 2016.

“Our Always Getting Better programme and lower fares are driving strong forward bookings, higher load factors and accelerating traffic growth.”

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