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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Alamy Stock Photo (File Image) Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary speaking in Dublin last year.

Ryanair records €663m profit for three months to June but warns of falling winter demand

Ryanair fares up 42% on average, at €49, and passenger traffic grew 11% compared to last year.

BUDGET AIRLINE RYANAIR has reported quarterly profits soaring nearly four-fold thanks to demand over Easter and the coronation weekend, but flagged pressures on consumers from surging costs and mortgage rates.

Profit after tax soared to €663 million in the three months to the end of June from €170 million in the carrier’s prior first quarter, a statement said.

Passenger traffic jumped 11% to 50.4 million customers. Revenue surged 40% to €3.65 billion.

The figures come as airlines are battling to evacuate tourists from the Greek island of Rhodes due to wildfires amid a searing heatwave in southern Europe.

Ryanair’s chief financial officer Neil Sorahan reportedly said the group was still operating a “full schedule” of flights to the fire-ravaged island, but is not yet putting on additional flights.

Its first quarter figures showed Ryanair fares were 42% higher on average at €49 and passenger traffic grew 11% against weak comparisons a year earlier, when demand was impacted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

But it said fare growth was starting to ease back, rising by a “low double-digit percentage” in its second quarter and said it may need to take action on fares to boost demand as consumers face cost pressures.

“We are conscious that consumers may require some fare stimulation to fill our 25% greater seat capacity this winter (compared to pre-Covid) following months of rising mortgage rates and consumer price inflation,” the group said.

It cut its passenger growth forecast for the full year to €183.5 million, up 9%, against previous guidance for €185 million due to delays of Boeing aircraft, but said it expects annual profits to be “modestly ahead” year on year.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, Sorahan said that Ryanair plans to invest €3 billion into Ukraine after the end of the war and that the company intend to return to the region – where they were the largest airliner before the invasion.

Sorahan said: “We would like to go back into Ukraine, we plan to be the first airline back in there when the war is over, or when the European Aviation Safety Authority say it’s safe to do so.”

Sorahan added that the company has “kept in touch” with airports and relevant parties who, according to the CFO, are “very keen to get us in to help with rebuilding their country”.

Boss Michael O’Leary called for “urgent reform of Europe’s inefficient ATC (air traffic control) system” as airlines face a summer of disruption from strikes.

He wants the European Union to protect “overflights” during industrial action.

He said: “Over the past six months, French ATC alone has held 60 days of strikes, during which the French Government used minimum service laws to protect local/domestic flights while disproportionately cancelling overflights.

“We, and our customers, call on the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to protect the single market for air travel and minimise the impact of ATC strikes on EU citizens.”

Rival easyJet warned last week over a challenging summer for ATC strike disruption.

Includes reporting from © AFP 2023 and Muiris O’Cearbhaill

Press Association
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