Ryanair laughs off EU crisis, raises profit forecasts
Ryanair yesterday raised its profit forecasts following a bumper winter. Higher fares and yet more cash from sky-high charges mean the airline expects to make £400million for 2011-2012.
Ryanair yesterday raised its profit forecasts following a bumper winter.
Higher fares and yet more cash from sky-high charges mean the airline expects to make £400million for 2011-2012.
That’s almost £33million more than expected just a few months ago.
Ryanair’s deputy chief executive Howard Millar said it had yet to see any fallout from the EU crisis — and, if anything, was BENEFITING from it.
He said bookings were strong in the UK and Germany as well as Italy and Spain, with a number of passengers “trading down” from pricier carriers to save money. Fares were rising as higher demand forced up the asking price for seats on sale, he added.
Ryanair grounded 80 planes over the winter to save money — and cut capacity.
As a result, the average fare in December was 40 euros (£33.45), 17 per cent up on the previous year. For the three months to December 31, Ryanair made £9.5million, up 244 PER CENT. Mr Millar said: “Bookings have been remarkably robust, despite what people are saying.
“Europe is performing quite well. I’m loathe to quote the former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, but it’s like when he said, ‘What recession? The restaurants are full, the bars are full’.”
Mr Millar laughed off suggestions Ryanair’s good year meant baggage fees or booking charges may now come down.
But he said it was unlikely the baggage fees would rise this year — “they typically only change every 18 months to two years”.
He added: “Over winter only 25 per cent of people checked in a bag.
“Without the charge, we’d be carrying 64million bags this year.
“We actually expect to carry 30million.”
Mr Millar predicted more airlines would collapse following the demise of Spain’s SPANAIR last Friday.
He said: “As Michael (O’Leary — Ryanair’s chief executive) says, we like a good old recession every now and then as it clears out the dead wood in the industry.”