Ryanair reports RM775m profit as Europe heads to beach

RYANAIR Holdings Plc reported a first-quarter profit after dodging the worst of Europe’s travel disruption, though the carrier is cautious about its outlook beyond the typically busy summer.

Europe’s largest discount airline posted an adjusted net income of €170 million (RM775 million) for the three months through June, compared with a loss of €273 million a year earlier, it said in a statement on Monday. Analysts had forecast earnings of €150 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dublin-based Ryanair said while there are clear signs of pent-up demand, bookings continue to be made closer to the date of travel than pre-pandemic and there is almost “zero visibility” into the second half of the financial year, when it tends to lose money. Ryanair still expects to fly 165 million passengers in the year that began on April 1 and will seek to fill up planes with low fares.

“The recovery into the winter is fragile and is very subject to whatever the news flows are around Covid and Ukraine,” CFO Neil Sorahan said in an interview, citing the impact of the omicron variant of Covid last Christmas and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which upended travel.

Ryanair is raising capacity beyond pre-Covid levels this summer in a bid to win market share. It has suffered less disruption from a regional staffing crunch than rivals, many of which have been forced to slash their timetables after weeks of delays and cancellations.

The airline said it had agreed to reverse pay cuts with trade unions representing more than 80% of its pilots and about 70% of its cabin crew and expects to conclude agreements with the rest soon.

Ryanair expects to take delivery of another 50 Boeing Co 737 Max jets ahead of summer 2023, after taking 73 planes from its 210 aircraft order before this summer. The carrier said it also extended the leases on Airbus SE A320 jets at its Lauda unit until 2028 after failing to reach a deal with Boeing for more new aircraft. — Bloomberg