Ryanair cuts profit guidance as strikes bite

Ryanair cuts profit guidance as strikes bite

Ryanair has lowered its full year profit guidance from a current range of €1.25-€1.35 billion to a new range of €1.10-€1.20 billion.

The decision, which saw shares in the airline fall by more than ten per cent, comes after a turbulent period for the low-cost carrier.

The Irish airline was recently hit by a fall in traffic after pilots and cabin crew in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Portugal went on strike.

Ryanair has also been forced to lower fares for the third quarter of the year (particularly for the October school half-term holidays and Christmas) as customer confidence has been affected by fear of further strikes.

Higher oil prices have also pushed up the cost of fuel.

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Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “While we successfully managed five strikes by 25 per cent of our Irish pilots this summer, two recent coordinated strikes by cabin crew and pilots across five EU countries has affected passenger numbers (through flight cancellations), close in bookings and yields (as we re-accommodate disrupted passengers), and forward air fares into quarter three.

“While we regret these disruptions, we have on both strike days operated over 90 per cent of our schedule.

“However, customer confidence, forward bookings and quarter three fares has been affected, most notably over the October school mid-terms and Christmas, in those five countries where unnecessary strikes have been repeated.”

Ryanair is also cutting capacity this winter.

Bases in Eindhoven and Bremen will close, while the Niederrhein base will see the number of aircraft cut from five to three.