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Budget airline Ryanair (FR/RYR) has posted 3rd Quarter losses of £17.2m, its first loss since 2014, despite passenger numbers being up.
The airline blamed lower fare prices and excess winter capacity for the losses as well as a much higher fuel bill, up 32%.
Traffic with the airline grew 8% compared to the previous period but the airline said fares dropped on average 6% with the average fare now less than £28.
Ryanair has maintained 96% load factor which is impressive by any standard but the losses will be of concern.
The airline themselves described it as “
Other Quarter 3 influences include the acquisition of Laudamotion and increased in EU261 compensation costs following a tumultuous summer of delays and cancellations for the airline as a result of strikes its own staff.
Despite the losses, Ryanair remains one of the strongest airlines in the industry with over £2bn in cash assets and, unlike many of its competitors, owns 93% of its fleet.
The airline has also set up Ryanair Sun, a Poland-based charter airline along with Ryanair UK, a UK airline designed to protect its UK domestic routes in the event of a hard Brexit.