BUDGET airline Ryanair has announced that the last three months trading saw an increase in passengers, thanks in part to a fall in airfares and a reduction in profits to €95 million.
Despite the fact that it is often accused of predatory pricing, charging for everything (including a fictitious claim that it would make people pay to use the toilet) it revealed that the average single fare paid by passengers was just €33 which is why its planes flew at 95 per cent capacity.
It did admit however that prices had fallen quicker than planned but it had to take action to protect its passenger loads following Brexit, the fall in sterling and the fact that charter competitors were moving out of North Africa and targeting Portugal and Spain.
Whilst it is cautious about future income, it still expects to record a profit of between €1.3 and €1.35 billion when its financial year comes to an end in March 2017.
In a press statement, Ryanair CEO, the sometimes outspoken Michael O’Leary said “As previously guided, our fares this winter have fallen sharply as Ryanair continues to grow traffic and load factors strongly in many European markets. These falling yields were exacerbated by the sharp decline in Sterling following the Brexit vote.”
“Ryanair responded to this weaker environment by continuing to improve our ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) customer experience, cutting costs, and stimulating demand through lower fares which has seen load factors jump to record levels.”
It is however reviewing its free second carry-on bag allowance because ‘abuse’ is contributing to flight delays as a number of passengers take on board grossly oversized bags.
“The airline is a victim of its own niceness,” director Neil Sorahan commented.