Ryanair has reported a net loss of €20 million for the third quarter of financial 2018.
Strong traffic growth of eight per cent at the low-cost carrier was offset by a six per cent fall in average fares.
The latter was caused by excess winter capacity in Europe, Ryanair said.
Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “While a €20 million loss in quarter three was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker than expected air fares, so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth.”
Stronger ancillary revenue growth, of 26 per cent to €557 million for the quarter, was again offset by higher fuel, staff and Brexit preparation costs.
Quarter three revenue increased nine per cent to €1.53 billion, up one per cent per guest, due to a strong performance in ancillary revenue and increased traffic stimulated by a six per cent decline in average fares.
In December, Ryanair acquired the remaining 25 per cent of Laudamotion.
This Austrian airline will carry just over four million customers in its first (start-up) year, but was heavily loss making, mainly due to the very late release of summer 2018 schedules, low promotional fares, expensive aircraft leases and unhedged fuel.
Due to recent improvements in schedules, fares and costs, the exceptional year start-up loss has, however, been reduced from an expected €150 million to approximately €140 million, Ryanair said.
The losses are, however, excluded, from the main Ryanair balance sheet.