Low-cost airline, which operates more than 30 routes out of Liverpool Airport, said Christmas and New Year bookings pushed up its annual profit forecast to more than €1bn. Tony McDonough reports
Ryanair has raised its full-year profit and passenger forecasts after better-than-expected sales over Christmas.
The low-cost airline, which operates more than 30 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said Christmas and New Year booking had pushed up its annual profit forecast from the €800m to €900m range to between €950m and €1.05bn.
It said forward bookings for January to April were running 1% ahead of this time last year, and believes this will result in slightly better than expected average fares in Q4. It expected full year group traffic will grow to 154m, up from 153m.
Dublin-based Ryanair had previously downgraded passenger forecasts by one million due to delayed deliveries of the troubled Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It has been reported in the last few days that the company will have to pay up to $20m to purchase a new flight simulator to train its pilots on the 737 MAX.
However, despite the uplift in its core business, Ryanair also said in a trading update that its Austrian subsidiary, Laudamotion, continued to underperform with average fares over Christmas lower than expected, despite strong traffic growth and high load factors.
The statement added: “This is a direct result of intense price competition with Lufthansa subsidiaries in both Germany and Austria who are engaged in below cost selling. Lauda now expects to carry 6.5m passengers in the year to March 2020 but at average fares that are €15 below budget, with the result that Lauda’s net loss for the year will widen from under €80m to approximately €90m.”