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Ryanair quarterly profit dives 93% on higher fuel cost

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair on Monday said net profit dived 93 percent in its third quarter as higher fuel costs offset rising revenues, resulting in a lower full-year earnings forecast. The carrier, which flies mostly throughout Europe, said net profit slumped to 14.8 million euros ($16 million) in the final three months of 2023 compared with one year earlier. Chief executive Michael O’Leary said Ryanair was narrowing its forecast for annual net profit to a range of 1.85 billion and 1.95 billion euros. It previously estimated between 1.85 billion and 2.05 billion euros. “This guidance and the full year result remains heavily dependent upon avoiding unforeseen adverse events” in the group’s current fourth quarter, O’Leary added in the earnings statement. He identified risks as being “the Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas conflict and further Boeing delivery delays”. In the third quarter, Ryanair’s fuel costs surged 35 percent, while revenue jumped 17 percent. Passenger traffic grew seven percent to 41.4 million, despite higher average fares which helped to offset other rising costs such as higher salaries. Its fourth quarter, or January-March period, is traditionally the airline’s weakest. O’Leary used the earnings release to repeat his complaint that US plane manufacturer “Boeing have more work to do to improve quality, (and) reduce delivery delays”. A top Boeing executive on Friday apologised for the problems highlighted by the mid-flight blowout of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines flight, as two airlines began returning the troubled 737 MAX 9 planes to service. The comments from Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing’s commercial plane unit, came three weeks after the major incident which has focused intense scrutiny on Boeing and grounded its planes for safety checks.

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