Ryanair sees profits fall by a fifth in first quarter

Ryanair sees profits fall by a fifth in first quarter

Ryanair has seen profits fall 20 per cent in the first quarter as higher fuel costs, overcapacity in Europe and the earlier timing of Easter hit results.

The low-cost carrier also blamed a four per cent fall in its average fare for the fall to a profit of €319 million for the period.

Ryanair did however record traffic growth of seven per cent, with the airline welcoming 37.6 million passengers in the first three months of the year.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said: “Traffic grew seven per cent to 37.6m, despite over 2,500 flight cancellations caused by air traffic control staff shortages and air traffic control strikes.

“Ryanair’s lower fares delivered an industry leading 96 per cent load factor.” 

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Average fares at Ryanair stood at €38.68 for the period.

Ryanair took delivery of 14 Boeing 737s in the first quarter, bringing its fleet to over 440 planes.

Bookings are slightly ahead of last year, but at lower fares, the carrier said.

“We continue to see overcapacity in the European market, with Germany in particular very price competitive this summer,” added a statement.