Category Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair takes direct delivery of the 375th Boeing 737-800

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Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and Ryanair (Dublin) celebrated the Irish low-cost carrier’s 375th direct delivery of a Next-Generation 737-800. Ryanair is the largest Next Generation 737-800 customer in the world having ordered more than 530 of the airplane type.

The Dublin based airline is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary of operations since its first flight in 1985. Today, Ryanair is the largest all-Boeing operator in Europe.

Ryanair to establish its 75th base at Corfu, Greece

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open a new base at Corfu (number 75), from April 2016, with one based aircraft, 11 new routes to Birmingham, Bratislava, Budapest, Cologne, Rome, Katowice, Poznan, Pisa, Rzeszow, Venice and Warsaw and more flights to Charleroi (near Brussels), East Midlands, London (Stansted) and Bergamo (near Milan).

The first additional route will be to Rome (Fiumicino) starting on March 29, 2016. The others will be added in late April, early May and June 3, 2016 to Pisa.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/ Boeing 737-8AS EI-FIO (msn 61579) taxies at Brussels. The new aircraft was delivered on June 12, 2015.

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Ryanair announces two new bases

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced two new bases. The ultra low-cost carrier announced it will open a new base at Milan (Malpensa) (number 73), its 15th in Italy, from December 1, 2015, initially with one based aircraft and four new routes to London (Stansted), Comiso, Bucharest and Seville.

In addition, the company announced it will open a new base at Santiago, Spain (number 74), its 12th in Spain, for Summer 2016, with one based aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ Boeing 737-8AS EI-DYJ (msn 36572) arrives at EuroAirport serving Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.

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Ryanair becomes the first airline to carry over 10 million international passengers in a month, load factor reaches 95%

Ryanair (Dublin) has set a new airline record. The airline becomes the first airline in the world to carry over 10 million international passengers in one month.

The airline issued its traffic statistics for July and noted this accomplishment:

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Load Factor Rises 4% Points To 95%

First airline to carry 10 million international customers in a month

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

“Ryanair’s July traffic grew by 11% to 10.1 million customers, while our load factor jumped 4% points to 95%. This is the first time ever that any airline has carried over 10 million international customers in one calendar month. For example, we carried more customers in one month (10.14 million in July) than Aer Lingus carried in a whole year (9.77 million in 2014).

These record customer numbers and highest ever load factors are due to our lower fares, our stronger forward bookings and the continuing success of our “Always Getting Better” customer experience program, which continues to deliver stronger than expected traffic and load factors on our biggest ever summer schedule.

Ryanair customers can look forward to more service enhancements in the autumn, as we continue Year 2 of our AGB program, which include a new website, new app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms, improved inflight menus, reduced fees, and great new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’, as Ryanair continues to deliver so much more than just the lowest fares in Europe.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ Boeing 737-8AS EI-DWG (msn 33620) breaks through the clouds in order to land at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

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Ryanair’s fiscal first quarter profit is up 25% to €245 million, load factor climbs to 92%

Ryanair (Dublin) today reported on its fiscal first quarter financial results. The company reported a first quarter net profit after taxes of €245 million ($271.1 million), up 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Meanwhile Traffic grew 16 percent to 28 million passengers. The load factor climbed six percentage points to an astounding 92 percent.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“We are pleased to report strong growth in traffic and profits in Q1. Our mix of low fares, best on time performance (91% in Q1) and enhanced customer experience under our “Always Getting Better” (“AGB”) program, continues to attract millions of new customers. At the same time our focus on cost (Q1 unit costs fell 7%) enables us to pass on lower fares to customers. Q1 average fare fell 4% to just €45, due to the timing of Easter, weaker April yields and lower checked bag penetration as more families and business customers enjoy discounts on their luggage or benefit from our free 2nd carry-on bag policy.”

The airline continued:

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New Routes and Bases:

We continue to be inundated with growth offers from primary and secondary airports, whose incumbent carriers are cutting capacity and traffic. These new airports, along with our 72 existing bases offer significant growth opportunities as we embark on our new Boeing 737-800 program. This winter we take delivery of 31 aircraft which (net of lease returns), means our fleet will increase to 340 Boeing 737-800’s by year end.

In September we open our 6th German base in Berlin where we have a 5% share of the German market and expect to grow this strongly over the next 5 years. Gothenburg (our 2nd Swedish base) will also open in September. In November, Israel will become our 31st country served when we start flights to Eilat Ovda Airport from Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow.

Two weeks ago we decided, in the best interests of our customers and people, to close our 2 Danish bases in Copenhagen and Billund. This followed threats by the Danish Unions who admitted that they had no members among our Copenhagen pilots or cabin crew to get their members (competitor airline employees) to blockade/disrupt our flights. By moving the aircraft from Copenhagen and Billund to airports outside Denmark the unions have no legal basis for imposing these threatened disruptions, which allows us to continue to grow strongly in Copenhagen without union interference.

Customer Experience:

The year 2 rollout of AGB continues apace as we work to improve the travel experience of our millions of customers. In April we cut fees for sports equipment. In May we upgraded our mobile app to include improvements to the “My Ryanair” customer registration function which facilitates faster and easier booking of our low fares. We added Sabre as our 3rd GDS partner in June and in July we celebrated our 30th birthday with a 1m €19.85 seat sale.

We have also enhanced our Groups travel service with a dedicated groups page on Ryanair joined Facebook in July, which provides another channel to communicate with, and listen to our customers. Ryanair’s campaign to “Keep Greece Flying”, under which we dropped prices on Greek domestic routes to just €4.99 one way while also cutting fares on international routes to/from Greece by 30% has been well received. Our on time performance leads the industry, and has further improved in Q1 despite the impact of the French ATC strikes, and the closure of T3 in Rome Fiumicino.

There is a lot more AGB development to come later this year, including a new personalised web site in October, new aircraft interiors, new crew uniforms and new bases.


Fuel is 90% hedged for FY16 at approx. $91 pbl and we have taken advantage of recent lower oil prices to increase our FY17 fuel hedging to 70% at an ave. rate of just under $66 pbl. This will deliver significant fuel bill savings in FY17 of up to €250m (based on current hedging). Our advantageous US$ CapEx hedging, along with our low cost eurobond financing, will help us to continue to purchase and operate aircraft at very low costs which further widens the cost advantage that Ryanair enjoys over all other EU airline competitors.

Balance Sheet:

Ryanair’s balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry. In Q1, despite CapEx of €324m and share buybacks of €195m, our net cash increased to over €550m (from €364m in March). We have completed almost 90% of our current €400m share buyback programme which when it closes in August, will mean we have returned almost €3bn to our shareholders via special dividends and share buybacks since 2008.

IAG – Aer Lingus:

On July 10, the Board of Ryanair voted unanimously to accept the IAG offer for Ryanair’s 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus. The timing of this sale is appropriate as our original plan for Aer Lingus (to use it as a mid-priced brand to offer competition at primary airports) has been overtaken by our AGB programme under which Ryanair has successfully entered many of Europe’s primary airports opening new routes and bases but offering competition and consumer choice. As the Ryanair brand develops and continues to grow strongly, the original rationale for acquiring Aer Lingus no longer exists. If the IAG offer is successful, then we would expect to receive these proceeds in mid/late September and the Board will consider our use of the proceeds around the time of our AGM.

We will continue to oppose the UK CMA’s baseless 2013 divestment ruling, (and their recent rejection of Ryanair’s request to review that decision), which was based on the invented theory that no other airline would bid for Aer Lingus while Ryanair was a minority shareholder. This has been hopelessly exposed by IAG’s current offer for Aer Lingus, even while Ryanair was its largest single shareholder.


Due to the exciting growth opportunities that exist for Ryanair’s low fares and AGB customer experience, as well as strong customer demand, we expanded our W15 business schedules which will increase our FY16 traffic target from 100m to 103m. This will be achieved through a combination of strong load factor (90%) and fewer winter groundings (approx. 40). Traffic should increase by 13% in H1 and slightly faster at 15% in H2.

Based on this Q1 performance and reasonable visibility into Q2 (which is heavily dependent on late bookings in Aug and Sept) we now believe that average fares for H1 will be broadly flat (previous guidance 0% to -2%). We have very little visibility into H2, during which we expect that our faster capacity growth (up 15%) and lower oil prices may lead to an aggressive pricing response from competitors who will try to defend their market shares. We therefore remain very cautious about weaker prices and yields this winter. Since Ryanair’s policy is to be load factor active/yield passive we expect that H2 fares will be towards the higher end of our -4% to –8% guidance range.

Our focus on unit cost continues and we expect that unit costs will fall by approx. 3% (aided by higher traffic). Fuel will deliver a saving of close to 7% and unit costs ex-fuel will be broadly flat. Ancillary revenue will be well ahead of our long term target of 20% of total revenue but will track behind the 14% growth in customer numbers in FY16.

We think it is too early in the year to alter our full year profit guidance, although the slightly better H1 yields will push it towards the upper end of our previously guided range of €940m to €970m net profit. We caution however that this guidance, which is 12% ahead of last year’s profit, is heavily reliant on the final outturn of H2 fares over which we currently have almost zero visibility. Ryanair will continue to pursue its strategy of being load factor active and yield passive for the benefit of our customers, our people and our shareholders.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ Boeing 737-8AS EI-DWX (msn 33630) lands at Tenerife Sur.

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Ryanair agrees to sell its 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG

Ryanair (Dublin) has agreed to sell its 29.8 percent share in Aer Lingus (Dublin) to the International Airlines Group-IAG (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London). The airline issued this statement:

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The Board of Ryanair Holdings PLC today (July 10) confirmed that it has voted unanimously to accept the IAG offer for Ryanair’s 29.8% shareholding in Aer Lingus Group plc. Ryanair’s stake in Aer Lingus has been available for sale since May 2012 and the Board believes that the current IAG offer maximizes Ryanair shareholder value.

In line with this decision, Ryanair will now vote in favor of the motion at the Aer Lingus EGM on July 16 (to give the Irish Government a golden share over Aer Lingus’s Heathrow slots) and Ryanair will also vote its 29.8% shareholding in favor of acceptance of the IAG offer, subject to this offer receiving regulatory approval from the European competition authorities.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“We believe the IAG offer for Aer Lingus is a reasonable one in the current market and we plan to accept it, in the best interests of Ryanair shareholders. The price means that Ryanair will make a small profit on its investment in Aer Lingus over the past 9 years.

This sale of our stake is timely given that our original strategy for Aer Lingus (to use it as a mid-priced brand to offer competition to flag carriers at primary airports) has been overtaken by the successful rollout – since September 2013 – of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” strategy, which has seen the Ryanair brand successfully enter many of Europe’s primary airports, being rewarded with strong growth in our network, traffic, load factor and profitability, while keeping our fares low and our punctuality high.

We wish IAG well with their takeover of Aer Lingus. When Ryanair first bid for Aer Lingus in late 2006, Ryanair (36 million passengers) carried 4 times Aer Lingus traffic (9 million). Today Ryanair (over 100 million) carries more than 10 times Aer Lingus traffic (10 million), and we will continue to deliver the vast majority of Ireland’s traffic and tourism growth in the coming months and years.”

Ken Odeluga, a senior market analyst at comments on this latest news:

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It has taken the better part of seven months for IAG to put the final pieces of the Aer Lingus puzzle in place.

Ryanair has, after much delay, which it insisted was not down to intransigence, agreed to sell its 30% to IAG, which had already struck a deal with Ireland’s government to purchase the country’s 25%.

Reports that the EU will swiftly grant conditional approval appear credible.

Concessions by IAG were accepted by the antitrust authorities this morning. IAG offered to relinquish some slots and to give its competitors special terms, like allowing them to provide connecting at favourable terms.

All these agreements will tend to focus investors’ minds back on the details of the €1.3 billion bid, for which a strong part of the rationale rests on highly prized routes from Heathrow and lucrative routes between the UK and North America.

Aer Lingus had 300 slots at Heathrow as of December, with industry figures suggesting each is worth at least £5 million  per annum.

Also, Aer Lingus is not the unprofitable airline it was say about 15 years ago or more. It’s stronger in margin terms than Lufthansa, for instance, and had at least €550 million in free cash at last tally.

The additional 3.5%-4% of Heathrow market share will consolidate IAG’s dominance at the hub, ahead of the extension of capacity.

But now comes the hard part.

Despite its recent forecast upgrades, IAG remains the least profitable airline operator based in the UK or Ireland.

EasyJet and Ryanair are tightly matched and each seems to swap marginal dominance over the other every few years or so.

Either way, the pair has largely locked out all other large competitors in Europe, including IAG, for the last decade.

Plus, having already written down the value of its Aer Lingus stake, Ryanair’s £400 million proceeds from the sale will go straight to its bottom line.

The only way for a rival catch and match with the two above in terms of profits, is to grow, probably inorganically, and probably not in Europe, in the medium term.

With the soon-to-be-cemented deal, IAG has given itself the best chance among any large European carrier to close the profit gap, and the scale to absorb strategic hits to margins in Europe.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS EI-DPM (msn 33640) lands in Tenerife Sur.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Airbus A319-111 EI-EPU (msn 3102) taxies to the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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Ryanair is coming to Eilat, Israel, will name 30 aircraft after 30 Facebook fans

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced its first Israeli flights, with three new twice-weekly routes from Eilat’s Ovda Airport to Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow commencing in November.

In other news, Ryanair has opened a Facebook page (see below) joining most other carriers. According to the airline;

“To celebrate its new Facebook account and 30th birthday, Ryanair has launched a ‘30 Names 30 Planes’ competition, offering 30 fans the chance to have their name and face pictured on one of 30 Ryanair aircraft. Entry is through the Ryanair Facebook page, where fans can upload their photo and download a CGI video of their own Ryanair aircraft bearing their name and face, and the 30 lucky winners will be announced in September. ”

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Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHZ (msn 33583) arrives in Tenerife Sur.

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