LOW-COST airline Ryanair has announced an 11% increase in half-year profits despite the flight cancellation chaos that is estimated to have cost it around €25 million.
The Irish airline was forced to pay out compensation when around 700,000 passengers were affected when it cancelled around 22,000 flights between September to October because of a problem with the pilots’ holiday roster.
It then cancelled a further 18,000 flights a few weeks later, from November through until the spring of 2018.
Despite all of this the pre-tax profits climbed to €1.3 billion for the six months ending in September, up 11% on the same period last year.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said, “These strong results reinforce the robust nature of Ryanair’s low fare, pan-European growth model, even during a period which suffered a material failure in our pilot rostering function in early September.
“Prior to this event, we were on track to deliver strong results during which we opened three new bases and 80 new routes.
“We took delivery of 35 new B737s in the first six months of 2017, we stimulated 11 per cent traffic growth with 5 per cent lower airfares, and achieved an industry record load factor of 97 per cent in the peak summer months.”