DUBLIN: Ryanair’s first half to September profits fell seven percent to EUR1.2 billion, the low-cost airline announced Monday, after widespread strike action by pilots and cabin crew disrupted operations.
In a statement, the Irish firm maintained its net profit estimate for its current financial year to March 2019 of EUR1.1-1.2 billion ($1.27-1.38 billion) — down 12 percent — owing to two pan-European strikes that forced it to cancel hundreds of flights, reports AFP.Ryanair said this forecast — which it had cut earlier this month —reflected “higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs” — referring to EU legislation which mandates passenger compensation in cases of delays or flight cancellation.
“While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 27 percent, these were offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs,” said CEO Michael O’Leary.
“Our traffic, which was repeatedly impacted by the worst summer of air traffic control disruptions on record, grew six percent.”
Ancillary income — including revenue from food, drink and in-flight sales — grew 27 percent to EUR1.3 billion over the six months to September period.
A substantial factor in this increase was the change in the baggage system at Ryanair, which now requires passengers to buy priority boarding for the right to take a small suitcase inside the cabin.
Overall, the company registered an eight percent rise in revenue to EUR4.79 billion, but only 75 percent of Ryanair flights arrived on time in the first half, compared to 86 percent a year earlier.