Ryanair said profits, passenger numbers and average fares all surpassed pre-Covid levels in the first half of the fiscal year.
Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorohan said passenger figures for the October interlude and bookings up to Christmas indicated passengers are continuing to travel and shrugged off talk of an economic recession as unemployment across Europe underpins demand in the economy, even if prices are pushed down.
“People have money in their pockets, but they deal with people like us, Aldi and Ikea,” he said.
The airline now expects to fly 168 million people in the year that began April 1, up from 166.5 million previously.
Ryanair Holdings today reported half-year profit after tax of 1.37 billion euros, compared with a pre-Covid profit of 1.15 billion euros for the same period of fiscal 2020.
Summer fares rose 14 per cent from recent pre-Covid summer prices and passenger traffic hit a record for the airline thanks to more and larger aircraft.
The airline took delivery of 73 new Boeing 737-8200 “Gamechangers” planes in the first half of the year, with another 51 due to be delivered ahead of next summer’s peak season, although the airline said it expects Boeing to deliver just 10 or 12 of them will deliver the signed 21 of these game changers, which are due before Christmas this year.
It has increased recruitment for staff on the new planes — including recruiting 1,000 new enrollments at its pilot cadet school, additional cabin crew and aircraft maintenance trainees.
Ryanair announced on Monday that the full reinstatement of salaries for staff who agreed to a program of temporary pay cuts during Covid will be brought forward again to December this year, after already being brought forward by 24 months to April 2023, for all crews who long-term agreements between the airline and the unions are covered.
These crews will now receive full pay reinstatement in the Christmas payroll this year, rather than in 2025 as originally planned.
Ryanair said it had written to the minority of unions representing the fewer than 10 per cent of pilots and cabin crew who have not yet reached agreements on expedited recovery, urging them to return to negotiations.
“These long-term pay arrangements with the vast majority of our employees have now delivered fully restored pay 28 months ahead of previously agreed, and they will also deliver annual pay increases through 2024-2026 as we create thousands of new well-paying crew jobs and traffic through the full year Increase to 225 million per year in 2026,” said Ryanair.
Collective bargaining agreements with unions helped Ryanair retain staff and speed up activity as Covid receded faster than its competitors.
The group’s balance sheet has also developed in a robust condition with 4.5 billion euros in cash and a net debt of only 0.5 billion euros of 1.45 billion euros.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/ryanair-says-consumers-are-trading-down-not-sitting-out-cost-of-living-squeeze-42123902.html Ryanair says consumers are trading down without sitting out the cost of living pressures