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Tag Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair announces a new base at Bratislava

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its first Slovakian base (overall the 71st base) at Bratislava in March 2015 with two based aircraft and 16 routes including a new route to Madrid.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVK (msn 40298) roars into the sky at the Dublin home base.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

Ryanair logo-3

Destinations from Bratislava:

Ryanair Bratislava destinations

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Michael O’Leary: Ryanair will benefit from struggling European carriers

Ryanair - Michael O'Leary (MF)

Ryanair’s (Dublin) flamboyant CEO expects his ultra low fare airline will benefit from pullbacks by some European carriers. O’Leary believes Scandinavian Airlines-SAS, Alitalia and Airberlin are carriers he expects to either shrink or merge according to this article by The Irish Times.

O’Leary also believes Aer Lingus (Ryanair owns a minority share), Iberia, Olympic Airlines and TAP Portugal also will face either cutbacks or consolidation.

O’Leary has also signed a contract extension with Ryanair through September 2019.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

 

Ryanair selects Copenhagen as its new Danish base

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its second Danish base (70 in total) at Copenhagen in March 2015 with up to four based Boeing 737-800 aircraft and starting with three new routes to London, Milan and Warsaw, with an additional 10 more new routes to be announced in the New Year. Ryanair will base its first Boeing 737-800 in Copenhagen from March and 3 more units later in 2015.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAD (msn 33544) lands at the EuroAirport.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary proposes to feed airlines like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM

Ryanair - Michael O'Leary (MF)

Ryanair‘s (Dublin) CEO Michael O’Leary never avoids any kind of publicity, good or bad. He is expert in garnering attention grabbing headlines with his proposals and often controversial statements.

In this interview with the Irish Independent, the flamboyant CEO says his ultra low-fare carrier could feed the big European carries like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM as they concentrate on competing against the Big Three of the Gulf (i.e. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) for the discerning long-haul passengers. The on-going pilot’s strike against Air France reinforces his view that the current in-house feeder model is broken.

All three carriers are reportedly losing money on their intra-European feeder routes. Ryanair to the rescue?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Boeing launches the 200-seat 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair

Ryanair 737-MAX 8 Artwork

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) launched the newest member of the 737 MAX family today (September 8) with a commitment from Ryanair (Dublin) for 100 airplanes. Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing customers up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes.

In addition to the commitment, valued at $11 billion at current list prices, Ryanair has options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s.

“Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

“These new “gamechanger” aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers. As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports,” said O’Leary

Boeing developed the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35 percent of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033. While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8, driving economic growth and increasing access to air travel.

With the addition of the 737 MAX 200, the 737 MAX family offers the right capacity to meet the needs across the single-aisle market.

“The 737 MAX 200 is the perfect fit for Ryanair, providing improved efficiencies, 20 percent lower emissions, increased revenues and a high level of passenger comfort,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations, while providing passengers across Europe with outstanding value. For everyone at Boeing, it is an honor to launch the 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair, one of the world’s most successful all-Boeing operators.”

Based on the 737 MAX 8 airframe, the 737 MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats by incorporating a mid-exit door increasing the exit limit. The airframe is 2.2 meters longer than the A320neo, giving customers more flexibility and space in the cabin, and offering a better solution at both the heart of the single-aisle market (160 seats) and at maximum passenger configurations.

Standard across the 737 MAX family, Ryanair’s 737 MAX 200s will be configured with the passenger inspired Boeing Sky Interior, featuring modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.

With 2,239 orders from 46 customers worldwide, the 737 MAX family offers customers superior fuel efficiency, economics and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

Headquartered in Ireland’s capital city, Ryanair operates more than 1,600 flights daily from 69 bases connecting 186 destinations in 30 countries. Currently operating more than 300 Next-Generation 737-800s, Ryanair took delivery of its first 737 in 1994, and now operates the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe. With a team of more than 9,500 highly skilled professionals, the airline is expected to fly more than 86 million passengers this year.

Image: Boeing.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair launches daily Dublin-Brussels flights, wants to acquire Cyprus Airways

Ryanair (Dublin) on August 21 launched new daily Dublin-Brussels (Zaventem) service (three roundtrips daily) as part of an extended Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with nine new routes and increased flights on 21 existing routes to/from Dublin Airport. This new Brussels Zaventem route complements Ryanair’s existing Dublin-Charleroi (near Brussels) route.

The nine new routes from Dublin are to Basel, Brussels (Zaventem), Bucharest, Cologne, Glasgow, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Nice and Prague.

In other news, Ryanair will soon be in talks with the government of Cyprus about a possible takeover of loss-making Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) according to this report by Reuters. Ryanair believes it can turn around the failing carrier. Nearly 20 companies have submitted non-binding expressions of interest about Cyprus Airways.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHN (msn 33577) touches down at EuroAirport near Basel.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair posts a fiscal first quarter net profit of $264.1 million, an increase of 152%

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal first quarter (Q1) net profit of €197 million ($264.1 million), an increase of 152% over last year.

The ultra low-fare airline cautioned that this result was distorted by the timing of a very strong Easter in Q1 with no holiday period in the prior year comparable. Traffic grew to 24.3 million as load factors rose by 4% points to 86%. Average fare rose by 9%, boosted by a strong Easter period, while total revenues were up 11% to €1.496 billion. Unit costs fell by 2%, excluding fuel they rose by 1%.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4% increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields. Ancillary Revenues rose 4% in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.“

New Routes and Bases.

Our four new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome are performing strongly, as customers switch to Ryanair’s lower fares and our industry leading customer service. Our strategy to raise forward bookings continues to drive higher load factors and we expect to release our summer 2015 schedule in mid-September, some 3 months earlier than last year.

This winter we will open four new bases in Cologne, Gdansk, Warsaw and Glasgow (Intl.) as well as substantially increasing new routes and frequencies at Stansted and Dublin as we invest heavily in our network to build schedules on key city pairs to make them more attractive for business customers.

We are overrun with growth offers from primary European airports whose incumbent flag and regional carriers continue to cut capacity and traffic. These new airports along with our existing 69 bases offer Ryanair significant growth opportunities as the first of our 180 new Boeing order delivers this September. These new aircraft, with the benefit of the much weaker US$, will drive significant cost efficiencies over the next 5 years.

Customer Experience Improvement.

Our “Always Getting Better” program has delivered significant improvement to the customer experience. In addition to the initiatives launched last September which included allocated seating, free second carry-on bags, and an easier to use website with a “fare finder” facility, we launched our family product in June. In July we released our industry leading mobile app (including mobile boarding passes) which has been very positively reviewed by independent commentators and our customers and has reached 1m downloads in the 10 days since its release. In September we will launch Ryanair’s business service which will include same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, and fast-track through security at many Ryanair airports. This new service along with our new routes, improved schedules and wider GDS distribution, will make Ryanair’s low fares much more accessible to, and attractive for business customers. We will continue this winter to rapidly develop both our website and mobile platform to deliver more innovative features and services in addition to the lowest fares to our customers.

Fuel

We are 90% hedged for FY15 at approx. $96 p.bl, which will deliver savings of €50m this year at current market rates. This is lower than the €70m previously guided due to increased volumes in H2. We have also hedged 55% of our H1 FY16 fuel needs at approx. $95 p.bl and weaker US$ which will deliver a 2% fall in our unit fuel cost at current market rates.

Bond Issue

The BBB+ rating awarded by S&P and Fitch makes Ryanair the highest rated airline in the world. This rating reflects the strength of our Balance Sheet and our highly cash generative business model and enabled us in June to issue our first €850m unsecured Eurobond at a coupon of 1.875% fixed for 7 years. This attractively priced financing (which was 7 times oversubscribed) will further reduce our aircraft ownership costs over the next 5 years.

Shareholder returns

In FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks as part of our commitment to return €1 billion to shareholders over a 2 year period. We now plan to return another €520m via a special dividend of 37.50 cents per ordinary share (subject to AGM approval) to be paid in Q4 FY15. This brings the total returns to shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn which is more than 4 times the €585m originally raised from shareholders since our 1997 IPO.

Outlook

Based on these Q1 results and our strong forward bookings it is clear that we are on track to deliver a strong H1, during which traffic will grow by 3%, and fares will rise by 6% subject to late booking fares in Aug. and Sept. However we would strongly caution both analysts and investors against any irrational exuberance in what continues to be a difficult economic environment, with some company-specific challenges in H2.

We expect H2 to be characterized by a much softer pricing environment as many competitors are lowering fares, partly in response to Ryanair’s strong forward bookings. Added to this Ryanair will aggressively raise capacity this winter by 8% (7% in Q3 and 10% in Q4) to take advantage of growth discounts and build out business friendly frequencies from Dublin and Stansted in particular. These initiatives will inevitably put downward pressure on fares and (mindful of last winter’s weak pricing environment) we continue to expect H2 yields to fall by between 6% to 8% which will result in full year yields rising by only 2%. Unit costs (ex-fuel) for FY15 will rise by approx. 4%, which is slightly better than the 5% increase we originally guided, due to higher H2 traffic volumes which will be positive for unit costs.

In summary, we now expect full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86m. This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m. However this guidance, which is about a 21% rise over last year’s net profit, is heavily, reliant upon the final outturn for H2 yields over which we currently have zero visibility”.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSW (msn 29935) in the old small-titled 1994 livery arrives at Stansted Airport near London.

Ryanair:

 

Ryanair to launch new Manchester winter services

Ryanair (Dubin) has announced it will launch a new Manchester winter route to/from Shannon as part of an extended Manchester winter 2014 schedule, with 24 routes in total, including four other new routes to Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lisbon and extra frequencies to Madrid, Riga and Rome.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DPK (msn 33610) arrives for landing at Tenerife Sur.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Ryanair to launch three new routes to and from Scotland on October 26

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced significant growth for Scotland with three new routes between Edinburgh and London (Stansted), Glasgow and London (Stansted) and Glasgow and Dublin (three times daily), as well as a new base at Glasgow International (Ryanair’s 69th in total).

Ryanair’s existing once daily flight from Glasgow Prestwick to Dublin will now switch to Glasgow International as part of an expanded three times daily business service between Glasgow and Dublin. Despite this switch Ryanair remains committed to its long standing base at Prestwick where the airline has a major maintenance facility and is currently in discussions with Glasgow Prestwick and the Scottish Government, its new owners, to explore growth opportunities to/from Prestwick Airport.

From October 26, 2014, Ryanair will base three Boeing 737-800s at Edinburgh, one at Glasgow (International) and one at Glagow (Prestwick).

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLB (msn 33584) taxies at Nantes.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair reports a drop of 8% in its fiscal year profit of $716.6 million

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal full year net profit of €523 million ($716.6 million), slightly ahead of previous guidance. Traffic grew 3% to 81.7 million passengers. Revenue per passenger was flat, as strong ancillary revenue growth offset a 4% fall in average fares. Excluding fuel, sector length adjusted unit costs fell by 3%.

The company continued:

CEO O’Leary commented on the results:

While disappointing that profits fell 8% to €523m due mainly to a 4% decline in fares, weaker sterling, and higher fuel costs, we reacted quickly to this weaker environment last September by lowering fares and improving our customer experience which caused H2 traffic to grow 4% as load factors rose 1%. Ancillary revenues grew 17%, much faster than traffic growth, and now accounts for 25% of total revenues.

New Routes and Bases

Forward bookings for Summer 2014 are significantly ahead of last year, since we began offering lower fares and released our seasonal schedules earlier, and this should continue to deliver 2% higher load factors, and help us manage fares closer to departure as we have less capacity to sell.

We recently opened 4 new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome. These are performing ahead of expectation as customers switch from high fare carriers to Ryanair’s lower fares and industry leading customer service. We announced 3 new bases for winter 2014 in Cologne, Gdansk, and Warsaw. We released our winter 2014 schedule 3 months earlier than last year, offering our customers lower fares much earlier than our competitors, while we focus on building frequency and capacity on key business city pairs. We expect these new bases will provide significant growth opportunities as we start deliveries (Sept 2014) of our new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft order.

Customer Experience Improvement

We have worked hard over the last 6 months to improve customer experience and enhance our industry leading service (lowest fares, most on-time flights, the youngest fleet). These initiatives include, (i) allocated seating (ii) a simpler, easier to use, website with a brilliant “fare finder” facility, (iii) free small 2nd carry-on bag, (iv) “quiet flights” (v) a 24 hour “grace period” to correct minor booking errors, (vi) reduced boarding card and airport bag fees, and (vii) a new service to cater for groups and corporate travellers. Our new family product will launch in June and will allow children (when travelling with their family) to receive discounts on allocated seats and bags, while families who travel frequently with Ryanair can qualify for discounts on future flights. In the autumn we will launch a business service in conjunction with our frequency build on key business routes which will include, same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, mobile boarding pass, and fast-rack through security at many Ryanair airports. This service, together with our new GDS distribution strategy, will make Ryanair much more accessible and easier to use for business customers.
Digital & Distribution Improvements

Our new digital strategy began to roll out last November with a much easier to use website, cutting the booking process from 17 to 5 “clicks”. More recently we unveiled a new website with “fare finder” which enables customers to easily find our lowest fares, share these fares with their friends and book them quickly. The “My Ryanair” registration service has been welcomed by customers with over 2m already registered. We will continue to invest in web and digital improvements over the coming year, as we deliver an industry leading mobile app (tailored for smart phones and tablets) by mid-summer, and improve our digital marketing and CRM services for the benefit of all our customers.

In April, we began extensive TV and outdoor advertising in major EU markets to promote our new website and recent customer experience improvements. These campaigns will continue through the year, as our marketing and advertising spend rises to approx. €35m (from just €10m last year), although this spend is still less than €0.50 per passenger.

We have broadened our distribution by becoming the first low fares airline in Europe to partner with Google’s “Flight Search” function, which is now available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Ireland, Poland and Spain (and more countries follow shortly). This partnership enables consumers to easily access and book Ryanair’s lower fares every time they search on Google. In April we began distribution on Galileo and Worldspan GDS systems, which allows travel and corporate agents to see and book Ryanair’s low fares. We are in talks with other GDS‘s (to broaden our distribution base) and hope to add more before year end. Our new Groups and Corporate travel service launched in January and take up of these services is growing rapidly.

Fuel

We are 90% hedged for FY15 at a cost of $960 per tonne (approx. $96 p.bl). This will generate net savings of approx. €70m compared to FY14. In light of recent oil price and US$ weakness we have hedged approx. 13% of our FY16 fuel (at approx. $94 per barrel), and have also hedged our dollar requirements which will deliver further savings of up to 4% per passenger, in Euro terms, in FY 2016.

Balance Sheet

Our balance sheet remains among the strongest in the industry and was a key factor in S&P and Fitch recently awarding BBB+ ratings to Ryanair, making us the highest rated airline in the world. During FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks, well ahead of our original €400m target. We remain committed to returning a further €500m to shareholders in Q4 via a special dividend subject to AGM approval. This will bring the total returns to Ryanair shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn. Our business model remains strongly cash generative and year end cash amounted to €3.2bn (net cash of €158m), despite €482m in buybacks, debt repayments of €391m, and capex of €506m during the year.

Outlook.

We expect FY15 traffic to grow by 4% to over 84.6m as load factors increase 2% to 85% and we add some limited new route and capacity growth. Most of this growth will be skewed towards H2 as we reduce our winter grounding from 70 aircraft in FY14 to approx. 50 in FY15. While fares fell by 4% in FY14 we expect FY15 fares to rise by up to 2%. H1 fares will rise by up to 6% due in part to Easter, stable growth in Q2, and stronger forward bookings and load factors. However we remain very cautious about H2 guidance (especially following last winter’s weak price environment) where we are committed to 6% capacity growth which could cause H2 fares to fall by as much as 6% to 8%.

Unit costs for FY15 will be flat. Fuel costs (which includes de-icing) will be €70m lower than last year as we are 90% hedged, but we expect de-icing costs to rise from last year’s unusually mild winter. Excluding fuel unit costs will rise by approx. 5% reflecting pay increases, primary airport charges, a €25m rise in advertising and marketing, and ownership cost increases due to summer lease ins and new aircraft deliveries from September onwards.

In conclusion, we expect this combination of a strong H1, but a weaker H2 will generate a significant rise in after tax profits to a range of between €580m to €620m, although this guidance is heavily qualified by H2 yield outturn, over which we currently have zero visibility.

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek article on how Ryanair is trying hard to be a “gentler and nicer” airline: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMK (msn 38512) arrives in Madrid painted in the special “UK Airport Transfers” livery for National Express.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair orders five additional Boeing 737-800s

Ryanair (Dublin) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have finalized an order for five additional Next-Generation 737s, valued at $452 million at list prices. Today’s announcement brings the total number of unfilled Next-Generation 737 orders for the Ireland-based ultra-low-cost carrier to 180 airplanes.

The airline announced last year an order for 175 of the airplanes. Ryanair is the world’s largest 737-800 customer, with orders placed for 528 of the type to date.

Ryanair operates more than 1,600 flights daily from 68 bases connecting 186 destinations in 30 countries. Currently operating more than 300 737-800s, Ryanair took delivery of its first in 1999, and now operates the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe. With a team of more than 9,000 highly skilled professionals the airline is expected to fly more than 81.5 million passengers this year alone.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of 737s ordered to date to more than 11,000. Boeing currently has more than 3,700 unfilled orders for 737s.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHK (msn 33820) lands at the Dublin home base.

Ryanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Ryanair to open new bases at Cologne/Bonn and Gdansk

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair) (Dublin) announced that it intends to open its 5th German base located in Cologne/Bonn in October 2014.

Ryanair will be offering eight routes from CGN, including five new routes to Dublin, London (Stansted), Madrid, Riga and Rome (Ciampino).

Previously the airline announced it would open its third Polish base (66th in total) at Gdansk in October 2014 with one based Boeing 737-800 and three new winter routes to Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford and Warsaw (Modlin) (10 in total).

Copyright Photo: Globalpics/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s new “UK Airport Transfers” logo jet for National Express on Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMK (msn 38512) is pictured landing at the London (Stansted) hub.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair logo-3

Current and some the new destinations from Cologne/Bonn:

Ryanair 4.2014 Cologne Route Map

Ryanair opens new bases at Lisbon and Athens

Ryanair (Dublin) yesterday (April 1) opened its third Portuguese base at Lisbon (64th in total) with one based Boeing 737-800 and 7 new routes (11 in total) with 124 weekly flights.

The ultra low-fare airline also opened yesterday its third Greek base at Athens (65th in total) with two based Boeing 737-800s and 6 new routes with up to 150 weekly flights.

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EBS (msn 35001) with “Comunitat Valenciana” sub-titles departs from Marrakesh.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair adds seven new routes from Dublin

Ryanair (Dublin) has released its Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with 7 new routes (59 in total) and increased flights on 21 existing routes (growing from 900 to over 1,000 weekly flights).  According to the airline,  “This growth is a direct result of the Government’s welcome decision to scrap the travel tax from April 1 and will deliver over 800,000 more passengers at Dublin Airport this year.”

Ryanair logo

7 New Winter Routes      21 Routes With New Flights

Cologne   2 x daily London (LGW)   8 – 10 x daily
Lisbon   2 x daily Birmingham   6 – 8 x daily
Prague   2 x daily Brussels (CRL)   4 – 6 x daily
Bucharest

8 x p/week

Barcelona   2 – 4 x daily
Basel

6 x p/week

Madrid   2 – 4 x daily
Nice

6 x p/week

Milan (BGY)   2 – 4 x daily
Marrakesh

4 x p/week

  Paris   2 – 4 x daily
  Rome (CIA)   2 – 4 x daily
  Krakow  12 pw – 2 x daily
  Riga  12 pw – 2 x daily
Berlin  10 pw – 2 x daily
Bratislava  10 pw – 2 x daily
Budapest  10 pw – 2 x daily
Malaga  10 pw – 2 x daily
Warsaw  10 pw – 2 x daily
Lanzarote   8 pw – 2 x daily
Wroclaw   8 to 10 p/week
Faro   6 to 8 p/week
Fuerteventura   4 to 6 p/week
Malta   4 to 6 p/week
Rzeszow   4 to 6 p/week

 

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EBH (msn 37526) “City of Nykoping” prepares for its runway roll at Dublin.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair opens its Brussels Zaventem base, adds more flights from London’s Stansted Airport

Ryanair (Dublin) on February 27 opened its second base in Belgium at Brussels (Zaventem) with four based Boeing 737-800s. The ultra low-fare airline will operate to 10 destinations (Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga, Palma, Porto, Rome, Valencia and Venice) with 200 weekly flights.

In other news, the carrier on February 26 added extra flights on nine London Stansted routes to Bologna, Dublin, Lanzarote, Marrakech, Paphos, Riga, Salzburg, Santiago and Tours.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVV (msn 40314) with special “Krakow and Malopolska” sub-titles departs from the lunar-like landscape of Tenerife (Sur) in the Canary Islands.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to add more routes and flights from Dublin

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced extra flights on four Dublin routes to Barcelona, Faro, Nice and Beauvais (near Paris), offering passengers even greater choice this summer at Dublin Airport. These increases are in addition to Ryanair’s 9 new Dublin routes to Almeria, Bari, Basel, Bucharest, Chania, Comiso, Lisbon, Marrakesh and Prague, which will start in April, and extra flights on its Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, London Stansted, Madrid and Manchester routes. This growth is in direct response to the Government’s decision to scrap the travel tax from April this year and will result in over 700,000 extra passengers at Dublin Airport this year>
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EBB (msn 37519) departs from Marrakech.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to fly to Russia starting on April 1

Ryanair (Dublin) will launch its first route to Russia starting on April 1. The Dublin-St. Petersburg (Pulkovo) will be operated three days a week per ShanghaiDaily.com. The ultra fare airline had planned to launched flights to both St. Petersburg and Moscow in March but it is being delayed to April 1.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS EI-EBN (msn 35003) taxies at the Dublin home and base.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair launches two new routes from London Stansted

Ryanair (Dublin) launched two new routes from London (Stansted) to Bordeaux in France (three flights a week) and Rabat in Morocco.

 

Copyright Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to open its 65th base, this time in Lisbon, Portugal

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its third Portuguese base (65 in total) at Lisbon in April 2014 with one based aircraft and four new routes (nine in total). The new routes will be Dole, Manchester, Marseille and Pisa. The company will operate 124 weekly flights with the new additions.
In other news, the ultra low-fare airline announced its flights are now available for booking through Google Flight Search.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAZ (msn 33559) lands at the Dublin base.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to add four new routes from Manchester in March

Ryanair (Dublin) in March will add four new routes from Manchester to Barcelona, Bologna, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. This will bring the total of MAN routes to 36.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCH (msn 33559) touches down in Dublin.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to open two new bases in Greece

Ryanair (Dublin) today (January 14) announced that as part of a $280 million investment in Greece it would open its second and third Greek bases (64 in total) at Athens and Thessaloniki in April 2014 with a total of three based aircraft and nine new routes.
Ryanair’s new Athens base from April 2014 will deliver:
·2 based aircraft
·6 new routes to Chania, London, Milan, Paphos, Rhodes & Thessaloniki
·154 weekly flights
·Over 1.2m new passengers p.a. at Athens
·Over 1,200* jobs sustained at Athens
Ryanair will grow at Thessaloniki as follows:
·1 based aircraft
·3 new routes: Athens, Pisa & Warsaw (16 in total)
·212 weekly flights
·Over 1.6m pax p.a
·Over 1,600* “on site” jobs
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DYX (msn 37517) with Comunitat Valenciana promotional markings climbs away from Nantes.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair calls the Stansted CAA regulatory regime “inadequate” over its decision to deregulate the airport fearing higher rates

Ryanair logo

Ryanair (Dublin) has issued this statement:

THE CAA PUTS THE FOXES IN CHARGE OF THE CHICKEN COOP
Ryanair today criticized the UK CAA’s false claim that Stansted Airport does not have substantial market power, and the consequent deregulation of Stansted. Against evidence and its own earlier findings, the CAA now inexplicably claims that airlines are able to exert buyer power on Stansted in circumstances where Stansted was allowed by the CAA to double its charges in 2007, which caused a 5 year 27% traffic collapse at Stansted while Heathrow and Gatwick were growing. Even Easyjet moved flights to Southend to avoid Stansted’s high charges.
Today’s deregulation decision by the CAA will allow Stansted to increase charges in future and will result in yet more damage to UK consumers and competition. This decision confirms yet again that the CAA’s regulatory regime is “inadequate”, as previously found by the Competition Commission in its 2009 decision to break up the BAA airport monopoly.
Ryanair’s Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs, Juliusz Komorek said:
“Ryanair regrets today’s unsupported claim by the CAA that Stansted does not have substantial market power and the CAA’s decision to deregulate Stansted. The CAA’s failure to recognise that Stansted has profitably maintained its prices above the competitive level since 2007, despite a 27% fall in traffic, confirms the Competition Commission’s finding that the CAA regulatory regime is ‘inadequate’.
Today’s decision is an example of the CAA’s regulatory failure which will again harm consumers as Stansted will be able to further increase airport charges whenever it wishes, without any reference to competitive price levels.
Effective regulation with aggressive price caps is the only way to ensure that consumers are protected and that Stansted can grow its traffic on a sustained basis. Ryanair condemns the CAA’s continuing failure to effectively regulate Stansted.

Ryanair is the largest operator at Stansted Airport on the north side of the London area.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Routes from Stansted:

Ryanair 11.2013 STN Route Map

The new and more “customer friendly” Ryanair

Ryanair logo

Ryanair (Dublin) has been making a series of changes in order to be more “customer friendly”. The ultra low-fare airline issued this statement about further changes:

Ryanair, Europe’s favourite low fares airline, has confirmed that from Sunday (January 5) it will cut its standard airport bag fees from €60/£60 to €30/£30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60/£60 to €50/£50 at the boarding gate, bringing Ryanair’s bag fees into line with competitor airline’s standard airport bag fees.

IMG 5651

This is the latest customer service improvement from Ryanair and follows:
1. The new Ryanair.com website (17 to 5 clicks to book)
2. 24 hour grace periods (for minor booking errors)
3. “quiet flights” (pre-8 am and post-9 pm)
4. Free small 2nd carry-on bag
5. Reduced boarding card reissue and excess bag fees
6. Allocated seating on all flights from February 1
7. The launch of “My Ryanair” customer registration service
New business and family products are also being developed, along with a new mobile app, tailored country-specific websites and a mobile-responsive website, as Ryanair continues to improve its industry leading customer service for its 81 million passengers.

Copyright Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

The 2014 Ryanair Cabin Crew Charity Calendar sells out

Ryanair (Dublin) has confirmed that all 10,000 copies of its 2014 Ryanair Cabin Crew Charity Calendar has sold out, raising €100,000 for its charity partner, Teenage Cancer Trust, the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and survival chances for young people aged between 13 to 24 who are battling cancer.
The €100,000 proceeds from the Ryanair 2014 Cabin Crew Charity Calendar brings to €700,000 the total raised by Ryanair’s brilliant cabin crew for charity since the first calendar was published in 2008 and Ryanair will present the proceeds to Teenage Cancer Trust in the New Year.
Video: The making of the calendar. Happy New Year!
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to go to allocated seating on February 1

Ryanair logo

Ryanair (Dublin) will go to allocated seating starting on February 1, 2014. The ultra low-fare carrier will also offer premium seating (for extra charges of course). The airline issued this statement:

Ryanair has launched allocated seating on all Ryanair flights from February 1, 2014, which is now available when booking on the Ryanair.com website, which allows all Ryanair customers to choose their preferred seats in advance (or to book seats together with their companions).

Ryanair customers can now select their preferred allocated seat either during the booking process (through the ‘manage my booking’ feature) or when checking-in online with three seat options available:

Premium seats – Rows 1-5, 16 & 17 or 32 & 33 – giving customers priority boarding, extra legroom and/or faster disembarking all for a fee of just €10/£10 (the same fee as Ryanair’s current reserved seat fee)

Standard seats - Rows 6-15 & 18-31 – where customers can pre select their preferred window or aisle seats or ensure that they sit together for a fee of just €5/£5 (priority boarding can be added for a supplement of just €2/£2).

Ryanair Cabin Crew

Ryanair customers who do not wish to pre-select their seats can check-in during the period from 7 days to 2 hours prior to their flight and they will be assigned an allocated seat at no cost. (Free allocated seats will not be available prior to 7 days before each flight departure).

Customers who have already purchased priority boarding for flights departing after February 1, 2014 can select a standard seat free of charge when checking-in online.

Copyright Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Alitalia refuses to work with Ryanair

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) has flatly turned away Ryanair’s (Dublin) (please see the previous post) offer to feed Alitalia’s long range flights at its Rome Fiumicino hub. Ryanair has announced it will move many of its flights to its new Fiumicino base.

Alitalia issued this terse and short statement:

“Alitalia has its own strategy, an industrial plan, a fleet and its own crews that allow it to have the necessary passenger traffic to feed its international and intercontinental connections leaving from the hub at Fiumicino airport”.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Boeing 767-343 ER EI-CRM (msn 30009) arrives from Rome (Fiumicino) at New York (JFK).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Ryanair to open its second Belgian base at Brussels and a new base at Rome Fiumicino, offers to feed Alitalia’s long-range flights

Ryanair (Dublin) grew quickly by serving under-served, sometimes remote airports near major metropolitan airports. That strategy seems to be changing as it enters two new major airport markets.
Ryanair today announced it will open its second Belgian base (62 bases in total) at Brussels (Zaventem) in February 2014 with four based aircraft and 10 new routes to Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Rome, Valencia and Venice.
Previously Ryanair had served the Brussels area via under-served and cheaper Charleroi Airport, 29 miles south of central Brussels. The company will continue to serve both Belgian airports.
Ryanair logo
10 NEW ZAVENTEM ROUTES
Alicante
14 weekly
Barcelona
42 weekly
Ibiza
14 weekly
Lisbon
28 weekly
Malaga
14 weekly
Palma
14 weekly
Porto
14 weekly
Rome
28 weekly
Valencia
14 weekly
Venice
14 weekly
In other news, Ryanair, also announced it will be allocating six Boeing 737-800 aircraft to a new base in Rome Fiumicino Airport, and launching three new Southern Italy domestic routes with multiple daily flights to Catania and Palermo (in Sicily) and Lamezia (in Calabria) with these daily flights commencing on December 18. Ryanair also confirmed the six aircraft allocated to this new Rome Fiumicino base will also offer daily business flights to Brussels (Zaventum) and Barcelona (El Prat).

These three new domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino will bring to nine the number of domestic routes served by Ryanair from Rome, (Alghero, Bari, Brindisi, Cagliari, Comiso and Trapani are already served from Rome Ciampino). Ryanair confirmed that over the next 12 months, it will move many of these Italian domestic routes from Ciampino to Fiumicino which will be its main airport for domestic services to/from Rome. This will free up slots at Rome Ciampino thereby enabling Ryanair to add more international flights and more new routes to its schedule at Rome Ciampino, the preferred Rome airport for travellers to/from international destinations.
Ryanair also confirmed that it will increase these daily frequencies if Alitalia cuts back. Ryanair has also offered to use its low fare flights to feed into Alitalia’s international network to/from Rome Fiumicino. Ryanair has for example offered to carry Alitalia passengers at one-way fares from just €50 which will enable Alitalia to significantly reduce the costs of its feed traffic on these domestic routes to Rome Fiumicino. Ryanair has also requested a meeting with Alitalia to examine any other opportunities which may exist for co-operating with and assisting Alitalia in its current restructuring.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EMO (msn 40283) in the Podkarpackie Travel special scheme taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to add 12 new routes from the London Stansted hub

Ryanair (Dublin) yesterday (November 21) announced it will open 12 new routes from London Stansted in April 2014 as well as adding frequencies on 17 existing routes, which will deliver an additional 1,300,000 passengers per year.
Ryanair’s growth at Stansted from April 2014 will deliver:
  • 12 new routes to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek,Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea
  • 126 Stansted routes in total
  • More flights and improved schedules on 17 existing routes (from 430 to 600 weekly flights)
  • Over 1,300,000 new Ryanair passengers per year at Stansted (14.5 million in total)

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DLC (msn 33586) climbs away from the runway Perpignan, France.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Video: London’s Stansted Airport from a B-17 and P-51 World War II USAAF base to Ryanair’s largest hub airport.

Current Ryanair routes from London Stansted:

Ryanair 11.2013 STN Route Map

Ryanair is coming to Lisbon, Portugal, concludes a new 10-year deal at London Stansted

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced its arrival at Lisbon (Ryanair’s third airport in Portugal) with four new routes to Charleroi (near Brussels), Hahn (near Frankfurt), London Stansted and Beauvais (near Paris) from November 2013, which will deliver up to 400,000 passengers per year and sustain some 400 “on-site” jobs at Lisbon Airport with 50 weekly flights.

Ryanair Lisbon

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair.
In other news, Ryanair and the Manchester Airport Group (MAG), announced that they had concluded a 10 year growth agreement at London Stansted Airport, which will see its traffic at Stansted grow by over 50%, from 13.2 million passengers in 2012 to over 20 million passenger per year in return for a package of lower costs and more efficient facilities at Stansted. This agreement will account for up to 25% of Ryanair’s 5 year growth plan to 2019. Ryanair expects its STN traffic in year 1 of this 10-year deal to grow from 13.2 million to over 14.5 million passengers.

Ryanair has today released its Stansted summer 2014 schedule with a total of 120 routes, including four new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat, which will feature:
  • 43 aircraft based at Stansted (up from 37)
  • 120 routes (up from 116)
  • 4 new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon & Rabat
  • Over 2,000 weekly flights Free (up from 1,800)
  • Traffic growth from 13.2m to 20m pa over
  • Up to 7,000 new jobs created at Stansted over a 5 year period
Finally, Ryanair has promised to transform its “abrupt culture” to a softer and gentler approach in order to win over new customers! Admitting it has customer services issues for the first time, Ryanair has also promised to set up “complaint channels”. Is this the “new Ryanair”?
Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair carries over 9 million passengers in August, the first European airline to do so

Ryanair (Dublin) celebrated a milestone in August and issued this statement (while taking a swipe at Aer Lingus):

Ryanair released its passenger and load factor statistics for August 2013:

  • Traffic increased by 1% to over 9 million passengers.
  • First European airline ever to carry 9 million passengers in one month.
  • Annual traffic to end August grew 2% to over 80 million passengers.
  • Load factor increased 1% to 89%.
  • Ryanair carries 9 million passengers in a month, Aer Lingus carries 9 million in a year!
Aug 12
Aug 13
Change
Yr to Aug 13
Passengers
8.90M
9.02M
+1%
80.2M (+2%)
Load Factor
88%
89%
+1%
82%

Ryanair 9m passengers in Aug

Ryanair celebrated its first ever 9 million passenger month by releasing 900,000 seats for travel in October and November at fares starting from just €14.99 one-way.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to appeal the UKCC final report concerning Aer Lingus

Ryanair (Dublin) will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report concerning Ryanair’s 29.8 percent share of Aer Lingus (Dublin) and its effort to acquire a controlling share. Based on this decision the Irish ultra low-fare carrier has been shopping its share to other carriers but so far there are no takers. Here is the statement by the flamboyant airline:

Ryanair has confirmed that it will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report which wrongly found that Ryanair, through its 7 year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “had led or may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition between the airlines on routes between Great Britain and Ireland”. This baseless claim is manifestly disproven by 7 years of evidence and by the European Commission’s recent (Feb 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.

Under EU law, the UKCC has a duty of sincere cooperation with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, today’s report by the UKCC infringes this legal duty by ignoring and contradicting the recent findings of the European Commission that:

“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision”, “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties”, and“evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.

In addition, the UKCC has inexplicably dismissed Ryanair’s unprecedented remedies package which comprehensively addressed the UKCC’s three invented “concerns”. For example, the UKCC rejected Ryanair’s offer to unconditionally sell its minority stake to any other airline that makes a bid for Aer Lingus and obtains acceptances from 50.1% of Aer Lingus’ shareholders. Ryanair also offered to support Aer Lingus’ rights issues and any disposal of Aer Lingus’ Heathrow slots, but these simple and effective remedies were also rejected by the UKCC.

The UKCC’s manifestly unjust ruling demonstrates that it did not conduct any fair investigation and that it has now merely announced what was its pre-determined conclusion. Ryanair will appeal the UKCC’s unlawful ruling to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. In any event, until the completion of Ryanair’s appeal to the EU courts against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot lawfully impose any remedies on Ryanair.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“This report by the UKCC is bizarre and manifestly wrong but also entirely expected. From the first meeting with the UKCC it has been clear to us that Simon Polito’s and Roger Davis’ minds had been made up in advance and no truth or evidence was going to get in the way of their story. This prejudicial approach to an Irish airline is very disturbing, coming from an English government body that regards itself a model competition authority.

Polito’s and Davis’ ignoring of evidence, their conduct of a manifestly unfair investigation, their omission of all the substantial body of evidence that conclusively disproves their case, and their rejection of Ryanair’s unprecedented undertakings (which patently address their three invented future concerns), all in a misguided pursuit of their pre-determined conclusion, demonstrate that this process was not a competition investigation but merely a corrupt and politically biased charade.

While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic and concerns very few UK consumers, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources from a body which took no action whatsoever when the two main UK airlines (BA and bmi) merged. It would appear to be a case of one rule for the UK airlines but an invented set of rules for two Irish airlines.

In February 2013 the European Commission found that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007. The UKCC’s failure to accept this finding is a breach of its legal duty of sincere cooperation between the UK and the EU competition authorities and will form the basis for Ryanair’s appeal against this bizarre and manifestly unsound ruling, which our lawyers will lodge with the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the coming weeks.”

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLO (msn 34178) with “Bye Bye EasyJet” sub-titles approaches the London (Stansted) for landing.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to add more Ireland-UK frequencies in response to Aer Lingus increases, takes another swipe at the UKCC

Ryanair (Dublin) always famous for its comments about government agencies, has issued this new scathing comment and news:

Ryanair, the UK’s largest airline, today (31 July) announced that it would add additional daily frequencies from October on its five main Ireland-UK routes in a direct response to similar flight increases recently announced by Aer Lingus for the 2013-14 winter schedule. Aer Lingus’ decision to increase flight frequencies on these UK routes further undermines the discredited UKCC investigation into Ryanair’s 6 ½ year old minority (29%) stake in Aer Lingus. Confronted with incontrovertible evidence that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified, the UKCC has been reduced to inventing fairytale future “concerns” that Ryanair has “influence” over Aer Lingus or that this stake has or will lead to a lessening of competition.

The UKCC, in its provisional findings, has ignored, or excluded, 6 ½ years of evidence which totally disproves their bogus claims. It has failed to produce any evidence that competition would be lessened (or UK consumers penalised) when the European Commission recently (Feb 2013) prohibited Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus on the very grounds that competition has intensified between the two Irish airlines over the past 6½ years. If, as the UKCC now claims, Ryanair has “influence” over Aer Lingus which “might” lessen competition, then it should explain why Aer Lingus has recently increased flights on the five main Ireland-UK routes or why Ryanair is now responding with yet more flight frequency, which will lead to lower prices and better deals for those few UK consumers who actually fly Aer Lingus.
Ryanair will add at least one additional daily return flight from October 2013 to each of its top 5 Dublin-UK routes including London (STN), Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Bristol as follows:
RYANAIR INCREASES ON 5 DUBLIN-UK ROUTES – WINTER 2013-14
Route
Daily rotations Nov 2012
Daily rotations Nov 2013
Dublin – London (STN)
7
8
Dublin – Manchester
4
5
Dublin – Birmingham
3
4
Dublin – Edinburgh
3
4
Dublin – Bristol
2
3

 

Ryanair continues to question why the UK’s OFT and CC have wasted millions of UK taxpayer funds investigating a 6 ½ year old failed merger between two Irish airlines (which has little, if any, impact on any UK consumers) while at the same time neither quango took any action whatsoever on behalf of UK consumers when BA acquired BMI, or previously when Easyjet acquired GB Airways. The UKCC has failed to explain this glaring lack in consistency particularly when neither the EU nor the Irish competition authorities had any concerns about Ryanair’s 6 ½ year old minority stake.
Since the UKCC inquiry has been unable to produce one shred of evidence that competition between Aer Lingus and Ryanair has lessened over the past 6 ½ years and since the UKCC has been forced to accept the EU’s ruling (that intensified competition has benefited consumers) this has reduced the UKCC to flailing around, inventing fairytale future “concerns” so that it can ignore the inconvenient truths of the last 6 ½ years of evidence.
The UKCC’s 3 fairytale future “concerns” are disproven by the past 6 ½ years of evidence as follows;
a) That Ryanair “might” block a rights issue by Aer Lingus: however the UKCC have ignored the inconvenient truth that over the past 6 ½ years – Ryanair has repeatedly confirmed it will support take up rights to prevent dilution.
b) That Ryanair “might” block a disposal by Aer Lingus of its Heathrow slots (despite the fact any such disposal would lessen competition between the two airlines) while ignoring the inconvenient fact that Aer Lingus, as recently as April 2013, disposed of a pair of Heathrow slots without any objection or block by Ryanair.
c) That Ryanair “might” prevent another EU airline from acquiring Aer Lingus, and/or “squeezing out” Ryanair. Again the UKCC has ignored the inconvenient truth that over the past 6 ½ years, no other EU airline has shown any interest in acquiring Aer Lingus and almost all other EU airlines have publicly stated that they have no interest in acquiring Aer Lingus.
In order to destroy any remaining shred of credibility from these bogus and invented “concerns” Ryanair has offered to unconditionally and irrevocably dispose of its 29% minority shareholding to any other EU airline who offers for, and successfully acquires 50.1% of Aer Lingus (which is far below the legal 80% squeeze out threshold). This undertaking has been dismissed by many commentators on the very obvious grounds that no other EU airline wishes to acquire Aer Lingus, another inconvenient fact which the UKCC has conveniently ignored. Ryanair’s undertaking removes any possibility that it can or could block an acquisition of Aer Lingus by another EU airline and sheds this UKCC process of any credibility whatsoever.
The UKCC’s case now lies in tatters, as Simon Polito and his team flounder around, looking to invent new and even more fairytale “concerns” when the inconvenient truth is that 6 ½ years of evidence proves that Ryanair’s minority stake has resulted in intensified competition between the Irish airlines to the benefit of UK consumers. Finally, the UKCC has produced no shred of evidence whatsoever that any other EU airline – other than Ryanair – has any interest in acquiring Aer Lingus.
Copyright Photo: Lucio Alfieri/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DCL (msn 33806) in the original Dreamliner colors taxies at Bologna.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair’s 1Q profits falls 21% as previously guided

Ryanair (Dublin) has issued this financial report for its fiscal first quarter:

Ryanair has announced that Q1 profits, as previously guided, fell 21% to €78m as traffic grew 3% to 23.2m. Ave. fares fell 4% due to the timing of Easter and the impact of the June French ATC strikes but revenue per pax. rose 1% due to strong ancillary growth. Unit costs rose 4% mainly due to a 6% increase in fuel costs. Full year guidance, remains unchanged.

Summary Q1 Results.

Q1 Results (IFRS) €

June 30, 2012

June 30, 2013

% Change

Passengers

22.5m

23.2m

+3%

Revenue

€1,284m

€1,342m

+5%

Profit after Tax

€99m

€78m

-21%

Basic EPS(euro cent)

6.86

5.42

-21%

 

 

 

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:

“As previously guided higher fuel costs and the timing of Easter led to Q1 profits falling €21m to €78m. Ancillary revenues grew by 25% to €357m (27% of total revenues) driven by the successful development of reserved seating, priority boarding, and higher admin\credit card fees.

Unit costs rose 4% in line with the increase in sector length. Fuel increased 6% to €577m or 47% of total operating costs. Excluding fuel, Q1 unit costs rose by 6%, slightly faster than the increase in sector length, due to a 2% rise in flight crew pay, and increased Eurocontrol, Spanish airport, and Italian ATC charges. We are 90% hedged for FY14 at $980 p.t and 70% hedged for H1 FY15 at $935 p.t. We have extended our H1 FY15 fuel currency hedge on recent dollar weakness which delivers a 3% cut in our fuel cost per pax. for the 70% already hedged in H1 FY15.

Our seven new bases Eindhoven and Maastricht (Holland), Krakow (Poland), Zadar (Croatia), Chania (Greece), Marrakesh and Fez (Morocco)) are performing well. We plan to announce more new routes and new bases later this year as we exploit significant growth opportunities in markets where competitors including Airberlin, Alitalia, Iberia, LOT Polish, and SAS are cutting back. We are in ongoing negotiations with MAG, the new owners of Stansted airport to reverse six years of record traffic declines, but there is no guarantee that any deal will be agreed.

UK CC Enquiry.

Despite no evidence of any material influence, and compelling evidence that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified (rather than lessened) over the past 6½ years, we now expect that the UKCC will unlawfully attempt to force us to sell down most, if not all, of our 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus on some baseless or invented claim that competition in the future “might” be lessened. Given the CC’s total lack of evidence they are now reduced to dreaming up bogus future concerns that Ryanair “might” prevent another EU airline acquiring Aer Lingus, despite Ryanair’s repeated public statements that we would consider any offer by another EU airline to acquire Aer Lingus, and/or acquire Ryanair’s shareholding.

We have now eliminated any remaining shred of credibility from this enquiry, by offering to unconditionally sell our 29.8% stake to any EU airline which offers for, and successfully acquires, over 50% of Aer Lingus, despite 6½ years of evidence that no EU airline other than Ryanair has any interest in buying, or investing in, Aer Lingus. The UK CC has no credibility in this case having taken no action whatsoever on behalf of UK Consumers in earlier mergers when BA bought BMI or Easyjet bought GB Airways. Yet 6½ years after one Irish airline (Ryanair) bought 29.8% of Aer Lingus (an Irish airline which carries very few UK consumers), the UK CC is now ignoring evidence to pursue an apparently pre-meditated decision to force a more draconian sell down on Ryanair than they required in the earlier BSkyB/ITV case. This is absurd in the case involving 2 Irish airlines when Aer Lingus affects or carries very few UK consumers. Ryanair will strenuously appeal any such ruling, which is clearly unjustified by the evidence in this case, and we will insist that any such order cannot be enforced while we appeal the EU Commission’s February 2013 Prohibition Decision before the EU Courts.

Aircraft Order and Shareholder Returns.

Shareholders have recently approved our order for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft for delivery over a five year period between September 2014 and December 2018. This has allowed us to raise our growth targets by 38% to 110m passengers by FY19 (previously 100m) and our fleet to 410 (previously 375).

The strength of our Balance Sheet with Q1 gross cash of €3.6bn and net cash of €191m, (despite another recent €177m share buyback), remains unmatched in our industry. This strong cash position allied to the Capex certainty we now enjoy, following the recent aircraft order, enabled us to announce plans to return up to €1bn to shareholders over the next two years. At least €400m via share buybacks in FY14, and up to a further €600m in special dividends or share buybacks in FY15, subject to current fuel, yields and profitability trends continuing. This further €1bn brings to over €2.5bn the total cash returned to Ryanair shareholders in recent years, which is over 4 times the €585m originally raised from shareholders since our IPO.

Outlook.

We expect Q2 yields to rise despite last year’s challenging (post-Olympic) comparables, although yields on close-in summer bookings have been slightly weaker in recent weeks due, we believe, to the heat wave in Northern Europe. As ever, our outlook remains cautious for the full year as market conditions are tough with recession, austerity, high fuel costs, and excessive Government taxes (most recently in Belgium) impacting air travel demand and yields. While we expect full year traffic to grow 3% to 81.5m, we still have no visibility over next winter’s yields, and on the basis that the recent yield weakness in close-in summer bookings does not continue, we see no reason to change our full year profit after tax guidance which remains at between €570m to €600m”.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) at the Dublin hub promotes Scotland as a destination. Ryanair will be adding more advertising.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair gives up, will sell its 29% Aer Lingus stake to another EU airline

Ryanair (Dublin) is giving up on taking control of rival Aer Lingus (Dublin). The airline issued this statement:

Ryanair on July 23 confirmed that, as part of its ongoing remedies discussions with the UK Competition Commission (CC) in a case where the CC have produced no evidence whatsoever of any lessening of competition as a result of Ryanair’s 6½ year old 29% shareholding in Aer Lingus, Ryanair has now offered the following undertaking to the CC:

In order to dispel the CC’s unfounded and invented “concern” that Ryanair’s shareholding may prevent Aer Lingus from being acquired by another EU airline, Ryanair will undertake to unconditionally sell its 29% shareholding to any other EU airline that makes an offer for Aer Lingus and obtains acceptances from 50.1% of Aer Lingus shareholders.

The above remedy is without prejudice to Ryanair’s vehement objection to the CC’s manifestly false conclusion that Ryanair has influence over Aer Lingus’ commercial strategy and/or that Ryanair’s 6½ year old minority shareholding in Aer Lingus has resulted in a lessening of competition. This conclusion is flatly contradicted by 6½ years of evidence, by the European Commission’s findings in February 2013 that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified, and by the evidence submitted even by Aer Lingus and the Irish Government (to the EU), which proves that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus intensified to the benefit of consumers over the last 6½ years.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:
“It is clear from the CC’s own Provisional Findings report that it has found no evidence of any lessening of competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus. In fact, Ryanair’s recent (3rd) offer for Aer Lingus was prohibited by the EU precisely because of the evidence, submitted by both Aer Lingus and the Irish Government, that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” during the past 6½ years.
These inconvenient facts have reduced the CC’s Simon Polito (Chairman) and Roger Davis (Member) to inventing new and fantastical “concerns” in order to justify their apparently premeditated and biased “thinking” that Ryanair should be forced to sell down this 6½ year old minority stake. The only remaining “concern” they can now dream up is that Ryanair’s 29% stake “might” prevent another EU airline buying Aer Lingus; despite 6½ years of evidence (and repeated public statements) that no other EU airline has any interest in acquiring Aer Lingus.
In order to remove any remaining shred of credibility from this CC process and eliminate any doubt about this imaginary albeit non-existent “concern”, Ryanair has now agreed that it will unconditionally sell its 6½ year old minority stake to any other EU airline which makes an offer for, and acquires more than 50.1% of, Aer Lingus shares, at the same price and terms which are accepted by these other 50.1% of Aer Lingus shareholders. This remedy unconditionally removes any ability by Ryanair to block any future takeover of Aer Lingus by another EU airline.
This bogus CC “concern” has now been fatally undermined thereby removing any requirement for a divestment of Ryanair’s 6½ year old minority shareholding which even the CC now admits hasn’t given Ryanair any influence, and Aer Lingus admits has led to intensified competition to the benefit of the perhaps 1 or maybe 2 UK consumers who even fly Aer Lingus.”
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSE (msn 29920) taxies at the Dublin hub. The airframe has since gone on to Gol as PR-VBE.
Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Ryanair calls for three new London runways

Ryanair (Dublin) has issued this statement calling for three new London runways at three airports:

Ryanair, the UK’s only ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) on July 18 made a submission to the UK Government’s Airports Commission, calling on Sir Howard Davies and his team to resolve the 30 year old runway shortage in the South East of England by recommending that each of the three main London airports, Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, be allowed to develop, at the earliest possible date, one new additional runway each, which will result in three new runways serving London, which will finally address runway capacity in the South East for the next 50 years, thereby allowing competition between the three airports, to ensure that these new runways are delivered in a timely, efficient and cost competitive manner which will maximize the gains for UK consumers and visitors.
Ryanair in its submission has rubbished any new Greenfield airport plan such as ‘Boris Island’, which it criticized as being more of the failed political interference that has bedevilled UK infrastructure projects over the past 30 years. Ryanair believes that any new greenfield airport will take many decades to deliver, and will result in vast overspending and inefficiency due to the absence of any existing airport or ground transport infrastructure at any such greenfield site.
The approval of three new London runways will prevent the kind of regulatory gaming which has bedevilled London runway capacity under the failed BAA airport monopoly, and the “inadequate” CAA regulatory regime over the past 30 years. This failed airport regulatory model allowed the BAA monopoly to constrain capacity delivery, in order to charge monopoly prices to airlines and consumers, which has done such damage to UK aviation and tourism since the BAA airport monopoly was first privatised in the 1980’s. Ryanair has called on the Airports Commission to adopt its 3 new London runway proposal, which is the timeliest, most efficient long-term solution to the chronic runway shortages currently suffered by all airlines and passengers at the 3 main London airports. This new 3 runway strategy will restore London’s leadership of European aviation – without any political funding – and enable the South East to respond competitively to the new runway developments which have recently been completed in Madrid, Paris and Frankfurt.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“Three new runways at the three competing London airports is the only sensible and consumer focused solution to the chronic runway capacity shortages in London and the South East of England.  We cannot wait 30 years and allow billions of pounds to be wasted on ‘Borris Island’.  Because each airport and each airline (apart from Ryanair) wants to limit competition, they tend to advocate only one runway solutions and only at their airport. This means that UK aviation will continue to be hand-cuffed by political interference, and “NIMBY” opposition which has stymied aviation policy for the last 30 years. The UK in general and London in particular is being left behind by new runway developments in competitor cities such as Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid.

The failure of recent UK Governments to stand up to misleading environmental groups and their willingness to pander to narrow ‘NIMBY’ interests at individual airports has allowed UK aviation, tourism and job creation to be hijacked by backward looking luddites. Sadly the very appointment of the Davies Commission is just the latest example of the spineless approach of David Cameron’s Government which talks about stimulating growth and job creation, but instead of pursuing growth policies they pander to tree huggers and NIMBYS.

Ryanair believes that the solution to the runway shortage in London is both simple and straightforward. Thanks to the recent break up of the BAA airport monopoly, London now has three competing airports, but no spare runway capacity. Instead of pandering to the expensive lobbyists of Ferrovial and Heathrow, the Davies Commission should recommend that three new runways be developed and allow the marketplace and competition between these three airports to deliver timely, cost efficient and consumer friendly runway capacity growth in the manner that will most benefit UK consumers, UK tourism and UK job creation. These 3 new runways will in turn deliver an additional 100m passengers p.a., which – given Airport Council International figures – will sustain about 100,000 new jobs across the 3 London airports. These 3 new runways will also exploit the advantage of the existing road, rail, underground and coach infrastructure which already serves these London airports, without the waste, delay and inefficiency of trying to develop a new greenfield airports and ground transport to serve them.
Approving 3 new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted is also the only way to keep Ferrovial/Heathrow honest as it promotes its plans to waste further billions on inefficient, gold-plated facilities which will allow them to again ‘game’ the CAA’s inadequate regulatory regime to further penalise airlines and passengers at Heathrow, with much higher charges. Competition between the airlines has significantly reduced UK air fares over the past 30 years to such an extent that Ryanair now carries more passengers than British Airways and EasyJet combined. The Davies Commission (while being another example of David Cameron kicking the can down the road) offers a unique opportunity to finally introduce effective competition and excess capacity in London’s runway infrastructure and Ryanair hopes that Sir Howard and his team will seize this historic opportunity.”

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Now gone from the fleet, Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSI (msn 29924) is pictured on final approach to the Dublin base. EI-CSI carried Frankfurt and a German flag to promote its operations at nearby Hahn Airport. EI-CSI has since gone to be with Orenair as VP-BPG.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair launches aircraft advertising

Ryanair (Dublin) under the file “It was bound to happen”, has announced it will now sell advertising space on its 303 Boeing 737-800s. Although not a full logojet, a space by the nose and three other locations is being offered to any potential advertisers. The ultra-low fare airline issued this statement:

Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC), on July 17 offered businesses across the world the chance to advertise their brand on its fleet of 303 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and reach millions of European passengers through Europe’s largest and cheapest outdoor advertising medium. Ryanair operates over 1,600 flights per day, connecting 180 destinations in 29 countries, through over 1,600 routes and will carry more international passengers this year (81.5 million) than any other airline in the world. Companies can have their brand featured on four different locations on the Ryanair aircraft, including on the inner and outer winglets, front fuselage and rear fuselage, for a 12-month period, for a fraction of the price of a newspaper advert.

Ryanair Launches Aircraft Livery Advertising

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Is Ryanair serious about $10 trans-Atlantic flights?

Ryanair logo

Ryanair‘s (Dublin) CEO Michael O’Leary has taken the art of getting noticed with his outlandish statements to the extreme. The airline thrives in both good and bad publicity. His latest use of the outlandish is to propose a possible ridiculously-low $10 fare across the Atlantic Ocean. Thwarted in its attempt to acquire a controlling stake in rival Aer Lingus, Ryanair is now floating the possibility of acquiring larger aircraft to fly across the Atlantic with its low air fares and compete against Aer Lingus and others. Are they serious or this the latest ploy to get headlines?

Ryanair - Michael O'Leary (MF)

Read the full report from Independent.ie: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair finalizes its order for 175 Boeing 737-800s

Ryanair-Boeing Signing Ceremony (Boeing)(LR)

Ryanair (Dublin) has finalized a firm order for 175 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes with Boeing valued at $15.6 billion at list prices. The order, originally announced as a commitment in March, is Boeing’s largest ever aircraft order from a European airline.

CEO O’Leary flew into the air show on one of Ryanair’s 303 737-800s, which bore a special livery celebrating the agreement.

Ryanair, which took delivery of its first 737-800 from Boeing in 1999 and has the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe.

The airline operates over 1,600 flights per day from 57 bases on 1,600 routes across 29 countries, connecting more than 180 destinations.

Copyright Photo: Boeing. Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of Ryanair (left) joined Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO (right), at the Paris signing ceremony.

Video:

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair attacks Aer Lingus’ staff compensation increases, will appeal the Competition Commission’s preliminary decision to divest its 29.4% share of Aer Lingus

Ryanair (Dublin) is appealing the UK’s Competition Commission’s preliminary decision to force the carrier to divest its 29.4 percent share of rival Aer Lingus (Dublin). The ultra low cost carrier could drag out the decision for at least two years appealing the decision according to The Independent. The Competition Commission ruled in its preliminary ruling that Ryanair exerts “material influence” over Aer Lingus due to this minority share.

The airline issued this fiery statement (as it normally does) in response:

Ryanair on May 30 criticized the UK Competition Commission’s (CC’s) provisional decision that Ryanair, through its 6½ year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “has influence’ over Aer Lingus and that this “could reduce competition”. This unfounded claim is disproven by the European Commission’s recent (February 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.

Under EU law, the UK CC has a duty of “sincere cooperation” with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, this provisional decision by the CC infringes this duty of sincere co-operation by ignoring the recent findings of the European Commission that:

“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision” and “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties” and “evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.

Should the CC maintain this untenable position in its final decision (due in July), Ryanair will appeal that decision to the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal and thereafter, if necessary, to the Court of Appeal. Until the outcome of this UK appeal, and the completion of Ryanair’s appeal against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot impose any remedies, however unlawful, on Ryanair.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“This provisional decision by the UK CC is bizarre and manifestly wrong. The CC’s finding that Ryanair’s shareholding obstructs Aer Lingus’ ability to attract other airlines was disproved by Etihad’s purchase of a 3% stake and the evidence submitted by other large EU airlines, which confirmed that Ryanair’s shareholding was not a barrier to other airlines acquiring a stake in Aer Lingus. 

In February 2013 the European Commission found that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007. A decision by the Competition Commission that Ryanair’s 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus may lead to a lessening of competition will clearly breach the EU Treaty duty of sincere cooperation between the EU and the UK. Ryanair therefore calls on the Competition Commission to abide by this overriding legal principle and end this bogus and baseless enquiry into a 6½ year old minority shareholding between two Irish airlines.

While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources on a case which has little if any impact on UK consumers. 

UK taxpayer interests would be better served if the UK Competition Commission investigated (rather than ignored) BA’s recent takeovers of BMI, Iberia and Vueling, instead of wasting time pursuing this Irish case, which is of no consequence to UK consumers.”

Read the full report by The Independent: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile to re-emphasize it does not have much control over Aer Lingus, Ryanair issued this scathing statement on recent Aer Lingus employee compensation increases:

Ryanair, a 6½ year old minority shareholder in Aer Lingus on May 31 condemned the spineless Board and Management of Aer Lingus which has accepted the latest crazy Irish Labour Court recommendation that another €170m to €200m of shareholder funds be squandered to compensate Aer Lingus staff for a pension deficit which Aer Lingus has repeatedly assured shareholders is a defined contribution (‘DC’) pension scheme, and for which Aer Lingus has no further liability. If, as Aer Lingus’ IPO prospectus (and every subsequent annual report) confirmed, neither Aer Lingus nor its shareholders have any liability towards this ‘DC’ pension scheme, then why is yet another €170m to €200m being wasted on yet another pay off for Aer Lingus’ staff.

Ryanair pointed out that this is not the 1st , not the 2nd, but the 6th time (in 7 years) that Aer Lingus’ staff have blackmailed the Government and trade union controlled Board of Aer Lingus, to enrich themselves at shareholders expense at a total cost of over €600m and rising as follows:
  Aer Lingus post IPO exceptional payments to staff & unions
Year
  Payment
Reason
2006
  €132m
Pension deficit & ESOT contributions
2008
  €138m
Staff restructuring and PCI payments
2009
  €89m
Staff restructuring and PCI payments
2010
  €55m
ESOT debt & leave/redundancy tax payments
2012
  €17m
Staff restructuring payments
2013
€170m – €200m
Pension deficit & employee payments
Total
€600m – €630m
This latest staff grab of €170m – €200m confirms Ryanair’s belief that Aer Lingus cannot be trusted to protect shareholder funds from repeated raids by its unions and staff. Over the past 7 years since Aer Lingus’ flotation, more than €600m in “exceptional payments” has been unjustifiably snatched by staff, while the Board and Management repeatedly promise shareholders that each time would be the “last time”. As recently as September 2011, Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller and CFO Andrew Macfarlane assured shareholders at investor meetings that they would not make “any further contributions to the pension scheme above the current DC rate of 6.375%”. Just 18 months later they both roll over and shell out another €170m to €200m and agree an increased D.C. rate of 10%, thereby increasing Aer Lingus’ cost base, with no benefit for Aer Lingus shareholders.
The recent record of this Government appointed Board of Aer Lingus in safeguarding its shareholder funds from staff grabs is awful, as the following examples demonstrate:
1.  Following its 2006 IPO, Aer Lingus made a one off (not to be repeated) contribution of €104m to eliminate its pension scheme deficit on the basis that the scheme would thereafter be a defined contribution (D.C.) scheme and Aer Lingus would have no future obligations for any deficits.
2.  In December 2010, when the ESOT (Employee Share Ownership Trust) was unable to service its bank debts, Aer Lingus wrote a cheque (on Christmas Eve) for €26m – without shareholder approval – to pay off the ESOT’s debts, again with no benefit for shareholders.
3.  Also in 2010 when the Irish Revenue rejected Aer Lingus’ “leave and rehire redundancy scheme”, which gave rise to employee tax liabilities of almost €30m, the Board and Management again rolled over and paid more than €29m in “exceptional payments” – without shareholders approval – to pay off these personal tax liabilities of Aer Lingus staff.
4.  Now in 2013, when the Aer Lingus DC pension scheme has again racked up multi million euro deficits, the unions threaten industrial action, and the spineless Board of Aer Lingus again roll over and splash out between €170m to €200m in pension contributions, pay increases, annual increments and other benefits to Aer Lingus’ staff. This brings to over €600m the exceptional payments made to Aer Lingus staff since the company floated in September 2006.
Ryanair believes that these €600m staff pay-offs over 7 years shows that the Board of Aer Lingus (which is controlled by the Irish Government and trade union bosses) cannot be trusted with shareholder funds.  They roll over every time they are threatened. Ryanair believes that Aer Lingus will, with the connivance of the Irish Government, continue to squander shareholder funds every time they are threatened by the vested interests of staff.
Ryanair will vote against this unwarranted and unjustified pay-off of up to €200m to a ‘DC’ pension scheme which Aer Lingus has confirmed it has no liability for. However since Ryanair’s minority stake gives it no influence or control over Aer Lingus it will yet again be voted down by the Government and unions who control and run Aer Lingus. Ryanair believes that this €600m to €630m of exceptional payments to Aer Lingus staff over the last 7 years since its IPO is a scandal which must be exposed and ended. Ryanair calls on the Board of Aer Lingus to stand up for shareholders and resist this industrial relations blackmail by unions and staff.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“How many times are the Board of Aer Lingus going to roll over when their staff and unions threaten industrial action unless they get paid off again and again. The original pension pay-off of €104m in 2006 was sold to shareholders at the IPO on the basis that Aer Lingus would have no obligation to any future pension deficits. Now despite paying over €400m to its staff in exceptional payouts over the last 6 years, yet another €170m to €200m of shareholder funds is to be squandered on paying off a deficit in a D.C. pension scheme and providing for annual increments which don’t exist in any other privately run company! We believe this is blatant mismanagement by a Board which is controlled by, and panders to, Government and unions and does nothing to protect shareholder funds.
This decision is irreconcilable with the repeated assurances given by Christoph Mueller CEO and Andrew Macfarlane CFO at previous investor meetings that Aer Lingus would not make any further one-off contributions to this D.C. pension scheme. Today’s decision (which could only take place in a company that was controlled by the Government and trade unions) is yet another example of how shareholder funds are being squandered to buy off staff again and again. Ryanair will oppose this latest “daylight robbery” of up to €200m, which brings to over €600m the cash that the staff of Aer Lingus have grabbed in exceptional payments since 2006.
Ryanair does not believe that this latest exceptional payout will be the last. The Aer Lingus unions have repeatedly shown that whenever they threaten, the Board and Management will roll over. This will continue while Aer Lingus remains controlled by a Board of Directors which was appointed by and is controlled by the Irish Government and ICTU boss David Beggs and which has presided over wholesale destruction of Aer Lingus’ share price, a six year record of cumulative losses, 3 years of declining traffic and now over €600m in exceptional pay-offs to Aer Lingus’ 3,000 staff or over €200,000 a head. As a public company, Aer Lingus should be run for the benefit of its shareholders and not to repeatedly enrich its 3,000 staff.”

Top Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EVF (msn 40291) with “Modlin Jest OK! – Modlin is OK!” sub-titles taxies at the Dublin base.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’ Airbus A319-111 EI-EPT (msn 3054) lands at Dublin.

Ryanair’s 2012 profit rises by 13% to a record $731.3 million

Ryanair (Dublin) has reported on its financial results for 2012. The company issued this statement:

Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) today (May 20) announced (record) annual profits of €569 million ($731.3 million), up 13% on last year despite higher oil costs. Revenues rose 13% to €4.88 billion as traffic grew 5% to 79.3 million passengers. Unit costs rose 8% mainly due to an 18% (€292 million) increase in fuel. Excluding fuel unit costs rose by 3%, while average fares improved by 6%.

Full Year End (IFRS)

Mar 31, 2012

Mar 31, 2013

% Change

Passengers(m)           75.8            79.3          + 5%
Revenue(m)        €4,325        €4,884         +13%
Profit after Tax(m) Note 1           €503           €569         +13%
Basic EPS(euro cent)          34.10          39.45         +16%

Announcing these profits Ryanair’s, Michael O’Leary, said:

The highlights of the past financial year include:-

·         Profits grew by 13% to €569m.

·         Traffic grew 5% to 79.3m (despite grounding up to 80 winter aircraft).

·         7 new bases – Chania (Greece), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Fez (Morocco), Krakow (Poland), Maastricht (Netherlands), Marrakech (Morocco) & Zadar (Croatia).

·         217 new routes (y/e total over 1,600 routes).

·         15 new aircraft delivered (y/e fleet 305).

·         2nd special div. of €492m and €68m share buyback completed.

·         175 new aircraft order, delivery 2014 to 2018 (sub. to June 18 EGM approval).

Delivering a 13% increase in profits and 5% traffic growth despite high oil prices during a European recession is testimony to the strength of Ryanair’s ultra-low cost model. Fuel costs rose by over €290m, and now represent 45% of total costs.  Excluding fuel, unit costs were up 3% due to excessive and unjustified increases in Italian ATC, Eurocontrol and Spanish airport fees. Ancillary revenues outpaced traffic growth, rising 20% to €1,064m or 22% of total revenue.

Growth – New Routes and Bases

This summer Ryanair opened 7 new bases, and more than 200 new routes as we continue our strategy of growing Europe’s largest passenger airline. However with 9 (net) additional aircraft and longer sectors, traffic growth this summer will be very modest at approx. 2%. By grounding fewer aircraft next winter we expect to deliver slightly faster H2 monthly growth which should result in overall traffic growth for the full year rising by more than 2m to 81.5m passengers.

Forward bookings on our new routes and bases this summer are ahead of expectations (albeit at modest yields) as competitor airlines continue to restructure and cut short-haul capacity. We expect growth opportunities for Ryanair to expand and improve for the foreseeable future.

Our new route teams continue to handle more growth opportunities than our current fleet expansion allows. Significant opportunities are opening up in Germany, Scandinavia and central Europe in particular, where Air Berlin, SAS and LOT continue to restructure. We are in active discussions with the new owners of Stansted Airport and the new management at Dublin Airport and while no agreements have yet been reached, if a competitive cost base emerges, then we could restart growth at one or other airports as early as September 2013.

We have also made offers to the Spanish airport monopoly AENA to reverse a significant proportion of its traffic declines over the past two years. In a country where youth unemployment runs at 50%, their policy of increasing airport fees, while traffic declined from over 220m to under 180m over the past six years is plainly ill-judged. As ever, Ryanair remains willing to exploit growth opportunities wherever airports provide attractive incentives to do so.
 
Market Share Gains

Ryanair continues to expand, making meaningful share gains in many of Europe’s largest markets. In addition to being the No. 1 passenger airline in Ireland, and Spain, we have in the last 12 months overtaken Alitalia and LOT to become Italy’s and Poland’s No. 1 airline, respectively. Ryanair believes that its unique low cost advantage will enable the airline to achieve a 20% share of the European short-haul market over the next 5 years, particularly given that many of Europe’s high fare incumbents are restructuring and cutting capacity.

New 175 Aircraft Order

Ryanair’s successful growth, allied to deep short-haul restructuring among many high fare competitors, gives us confidence that we can grow from 80m p.a. to over 100m passengers p.a. over the next 5 years. Our recent order for 175 firm B 737-800 aircraft represents an enormous opportunity for shareholders as Ryanair returns to higher rates (5% p.a.) of traffic growth. We are pleased to have reached acceptable  pricing with Boeing, and the controlled delivery programme from Autumn 2014 to end of 2018 will provide the opportunity to expand Ryanair’s fleet to over 400 aircraft and our traffic to over 100m p.a. Ryanair is now uniquely positioned to offer many of Europe’s airports sustained traffic growth in return for low cost, efficient facilities. I am confident that in time this new order will enable Ryanair to extend its traffic leadership over Europe’s airlines, and generate further returns for our shareholders.

Aer Lingus

We were disappointed that the European Commission in February 2013 decided to prohibit Ryanair’s third offer for Aer Lingus. It is bizarre that the EU can wave through BA’s offer for British Midland in Phase 1 with few remedies, yet months later reject Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus which was accompanied by a revolutionary remedies package delivering two upfront buyers to open competing bases in Dublin and Cork airports. We have no doubt that this was yet another politically motivated decision by Europe’s competition authority and it is inexplicable in the context of its stated policy of promoting European airline consolidation.

Having our third offer for Aer Lingus prohibited by the EU Commission on the grounds that “competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified since 2007”, our shareholding is now the subject of an even more bizarre regulatory inquiry in the UK where the Competition Commission are reviewing our 6½ year old minority stake in Aer Lingus on the basis that it may have “lessened competition” between Ryanair and Aer Lingus. Given that the UK Competition Commission has a legal duty of sincere co-operation with the EU, we believe they cannot make a contrary finding, and so this spurious and time wasting inquiry into a 6½ year old minority stake between two Irish airlines, one of whom (Aer Lingus) has a tiny presence in the UK market should now be abandoned in the light of the EU Commission’s finding that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified.
 
Fuel Hedging

In recent years high oil prices and competitor fuel surcharges have made Ryanair’s fares even more attractive to hard pressed European consumers. The combination of high oil prices, increasing competitor losses, together with a shortage of financing for weaker credits, will lead to continued EU consolidation and closures. Ryanair is 90% hedged for FY’14 at $980 per tonne (approx. $98 p.bl) and we have now extended our hedges into FY’15 with 25% of H1 hedged at $930 per tonne (approx. $93 p.bl). We hope to continue to make meaningful reductions in our oil costs into FY’15.

Balance Sheet

Ryanair’s balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry. Our aircraft which have been purchased at substantially discounted prices, represents a significant long term benefit for our shareholders. We have gross cash over €3.5bn and year-end net cash of €61m, despite having returned almost €500m to shareholders in November (€1.5bn over the past 5 years) via a second special dividend. We have also taken advantage of current low interest rates to secure almost 70% of our fleet financing all in at under 3% and we have completed our Capex hedging programme to the end of 2014 at Euro/Dollar exchange rate of 1.32.

Outlook

We expect traffic in FY.14 to grow by 3% to 81.5m. Growth will be slower in H1 at approx. 2%, but rise to approx. 5% in H2 as we ground fewer winter aircraft (up to 60) compared to prior years. Unit costs will increase primarily due to rising oil prices, a 3% growth in sector length, and unjustified higher Eurocontrol and Spanish airport charges. Due to lower yields and higher fuel costs Q1 Net Profit will be lower than last year due to the timing of Easter (which boosted Q4 revenues) and its presence in the prior year Q1 comparable. With almost zero yield visibility into H2 and the EU wide recession, we expect that there will continue to be downward pressure on yields which will dampen full year profit growth. We expect modest yield and traffic growth for the full year to be partly offset by higher oil and Eurocontrol costs resulting in another year of profit growth in FY’14 which – subject to winter yield outturns – should increase to a range of between €570m to €600m”.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. In November of 2006 Ryanair added these biting “bye bye Latehansa” markings to this Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLM (msn 33594) pictured landing at the Dublin base. The aircraft has since gone on to Nok Air as HS-DBM.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair opens three new bases

Ryanair (Dublin) celebrated the opening this past week of its new bases at Eindhoven, Krakow and Zadar, bringing Ryanair’s European base network to 54, with an additional 3 bases set to open at Chania (Greece), Fez and Marrakech (both Morocco) by the end of April.

Eindhoven is Ryanair’s second Dutch base (following the opening of Maastricht in December) with one-based aircraft and 31 routes, which will deliver up to 1.7 million passengers per year.
Ryanair also opened its second base in Poland at Krakow, with two-based aircraft and 31 routes, which will deliver up to 1.6 million passengers per year.
Zadar, meanwhile, is Ryanair’s first Croatian base, with one-based aircraft and 17 routes, which will deliver up to 300,000 passengers per year.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCT (msn 33813) taxies at the Dublin hub.
All AG photos are for sale.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair commits for 175 new Boeing 737-800s

Ryanair (Dublin) has committed to purchase 175 new Boeing 737-800s pending the completion of the final contract.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing (Chicago) is delighted that Ryanair has announced a commitment to order 175 Next-Generation 737-800s for the airline’s fleet expansion. When finalized, the agreement will be worth $15.6 billion at list prices and will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website as a firm order.

“This agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the Next-Generation 737 brings to Ryanair,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. “We are pleased that the Next-Generation 737, as the most efficient, most reliable large single-aisle airplane flying today, has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet. Our partnership with this great European low-cost carrier is of the utmost importance to everyone at The Boeing Company and I could not be more proud to see it extended for years to come.”

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and Conner will hold a joint press conference today to discuss the announcement at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (Starlight Roof), 301 Park Avenue, New York, at 10:15 am ET.

Meanwhile Ryanair issued this statement:

Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), today (March 19) signed an agreement with the Boeing Company to purchase 175 new Next Generation 737-800 airplanes.  When finalized, the deal will be worth nearly $15.6 billion at current list prices, and will allow Ryanair to grow its airline to more than 400 airplanes, serving more than 100 million passengers per year across Europe by the end of the delivery stream in 2018.

The agreement was signed by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President CEO Ray Conner in New York (March 19). Upon approval by Ryanair’s shareholders, the purchase will become Boeing’s largest deal to date in 2013 and will be the largest ever aircraft order from a European airline. It will sustain thousands of skilled manufacturing jobs in Boeing and its supplier companies and will represent the largest ever capital investment by an Irish company in U.S. manufacturing and U.S. jobs.

These Boeing airplanes will create more than 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers at Ryanair’s growing number of aircraft bases across Europe. Approximately 75 of these new aircraft will replace some of Ryanair’s existing fleet of 305 Boeing 737s, but the remainder will drive new growth of  Ryanair’s fleet of young, highly efficient airplanes. These airplanes will allow Ryanair to grow its low-cost airline service by about 5 percent per annum over the next several years, taking Ryanair’s traffic to over 100 million passengers by March 2019.

As Ryanair continues to plan its future as Europe’s low-cost airline leader, it continues to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft which enters service in 2017.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-CSB (msn 29917) turns on to the runway at the Dublin base. This airframe has since gone on to VARIG (2nd) as PR-VBB.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

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Ryanair is close to a new major Boeing 737NG order

Ryanair (Dublin) is on the verge of a major order for around 170 current generation Boeing 737 aircraft according to this report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-CSY (msn 32779) lands at the Dublin hub. This aircraft was returned to the lessor on November 19, 2008 and is currently with UTair Aviation of Russia operating as VQ-BJG.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to cut its London Stansted hub by 9%

Ryanair (Dublin) in a protest over airport fees has announced it will cut its London Stansted hub by 9 percent. The airline has often used this threat to cut services and jobs to put pressure on airports to lower their fees. The opinionated airline issued this statement over the fee hikes:

Ryanair announced that it will cut its London Stansted traffic by 9% over the coming year (from 12.5 million to 11.4 million) after the Ferrovial/BAA Stansted monopoly announced a further unjustified increase of Stansted’s already high charges of 6% from April 2013, despite the fact that Ferrovial/BAA has sold Stansted to Manchester Airport Group (MAG) who will take over the airport sometime before the end of March.

Ryanair has called on Stansted’s regulator, the CAA, to investigate whether this unjustified and unwarranted 6% price hike was a “sweetener” by Ferrovial/BAA’s sale of Stansted, which raised £1.5 billion in proceeds for Ferrovial, despite the fact that Stansted’s traffic has declined from 24 million per year  to 17.5 million per year over the last 6 years.
Ryanair, which had planned to grow its Stansted traffic by 5% from April 2013, will now cut frequencies on 43 of its routes and reduce its weekly operations by over 170 flights, with the loss of 1.1 million passengers (-9%) and over 1,100 jobs at Stansted,  in direct response to this unwarranted and unjustified 6% price hike. Ryanair called on the CAA regulator to explain why Ferrovial/BAA is allowed to hike charges by 6% when UK inflation is less than 3% and Stansted’s traffic continues to decline.
Ryanair also called on Ferrovial/BAA to reverse this unjustified and unwarranted price increase before the sale to MAG is concluded and further called on MAG to confirm that it will not permit any further price increases at Stansted unless, or until, the traffic declines of the past 6 years (during which the Ferrovial/BAA monopoly has doubled Stansted’s fees) are reversed.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCD (msn 33562) “Pride of Scotland” turns to depart from Dublin’s runway.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

European Commission intends to deny the Ryanair takeover of Aer Lingus

Ryanair (Dublin) is planning to appeal if it is denied its goal of acquiring rival Aer Lingus (Dublin). The airline issued the following statement today:

Ryanair was notified this morning (February 12) at a State of Play meeting with the EU Commission, that the EU Commission intends to prohibit Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus, despite the fact that Ryanair has met every competition concern raised in the EU’s Statement of Objections and during the review process, including providing the EU – at its request – with irrevocable commitments from not one, but two, upfront buyers to eliminate all competitive overlaps between Ryanair and Aer Lingus.  IAG has committed that they would take over divestments of Ryanair’s and Aer Lingus’ entire London-Gatwick operations, and Flybe has committed to take over 43 Aer Lingus UK and European routes.

Given that the EU Commission recently approved IAG’s acquisition of BMI at London-Heathrow on the basis of three year commitments, the EU’s claim that it could not be satisfied of IAG’s and Flybe’s commitments to these Irish routes after three years is another example of the EU  holding Ryanair to a much higher standard than any other EU airline. Ryanair’s remedies package is unprecedented.  For the first time in EU airline history, Ryanair delivered not one, but two, substantial upfront EU airline buyers who have agreed to come to Ireland to compete against a combined Ryanair/Aer Lingus.
Ryanair has today instructed its lawyers to appeal any prohibition decision to the European Courts.
Top Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Ryanair accurately predicted the demis of bmibaby but it is not getting its way with Ryanair. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLN (msn 33595) with the “Bye Bye Baby” banner on the fuselage arrives at the Dublin base.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show
Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show
Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330-301 EI-JFK (msn 086) prepares to depart from the DUB hub bound for its registration namesake, New York (JFK).

Ryanair reports third quarter profits of $24.1 million

Ryanair (Dublin) announced third quarter profits of $24.1 million (€18 million), up $4 million (€3 million) on last year despite an $109 million (€81 million) increase in fuel costs. Revenues rose 15% to $1.3 billion (€969 million) as traffic grew 3% to 17.3 million passengers. Unit costs rose 11% mainly due to a 24% (€81 million) increase in fuel. Excluding fuel third quarter unit costs rose by 4%, while average fares improved by 8%.

Summary Q3 Results (IFRS) in Euro.
Q3 Results (IFRS) €
Dec 31, 2011
Dec 31, 2012
% Change
Passengers
16.7m
17.3m
  +3%
Revenue
€844m
€969m
  +15%
Profit after Tax
€14.9m
€18.1m
  +21%
Basic EPS(euro cent)
1.02
1.25
  +23%
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said:
“Our Q3 profit of €18m was ahead of expectations due to strong pre-Christmas bookings at higher yields. The 8% rise in avg. fares reflects our improved customer service, record punctuality and the successful roll out of our reserved seating service. Our fuel costs rose €81m, (+24%), slightly less than expected as oil prices increased 22% (from $84pbl) to $102pbl. Excluding fuel, Q3 unit costs rose 4% due to excessive increases in Italian ATC costs, Spanish airport charges, and the strength of Sterling to the Euro. Ancillary revenue performed strongly and rose 24% to approx. €13 per pax.
New Routes and Bases.
Our new routes and bases are performing well in their first winter, although some smaller bases such as Budapest and Warsaw are doing so at very low prices. Our 51st base Maastricht opened in December, and we will open 6 new bases (total 57) from April in Eindhoven, Krakow, Zadar (Croatia), Chania (Greece), Marrakesh and Fez (Morocco). Significant capacity cuts by Legacy and other struggling EU carriers continue to offer us substantial growth opportunities across Europe.  We expect further capacity cuts and restructurings in Europe as high fare, loss making carriers struggle to compete with Ryanair’s expansion at low prices. During Q.3 Iberia, AFKLM, Air Berlin, and Lufthansa all announced major restructurings. Both LOT and SAS are seeking further state support while the Swiss charter airline “Hello” has closed. These trends will create more growth opportunities for Ryanair to grow profitably to 120m passengers over the next decade.
Customer Service.
Our industry leading customer service continues to improve as demonstrated by the following YTD milestones:-
·  93% of all Ryanair flights arrived on time (a new record).
·  Lost bags have fallen to less than 1 per 3,000 pax.
·  We cancel less than 4 flights in every 1,000.
No other EU airline can match Ryanair’s fares or this level of passenger service. The addition of reserved seating to our priority boarding service in 2012 has been very well received and a recent survey of Ryanair’s traffic in Spain (where Ryanair is the largest carrier) highlighted that 22% of our passengers were travelling on business. A survey of 10,000 passengers in December also yielded the following results:-
 ·  87% were satisfied or very satisfied with their Ryanair flight.
·  93% said they would fly Ryanair again.
·  95% said Ryanair provide excellent value for money.
Ryanair Strengths.
Ryanair’s ex fuel passenger cost of €27 (ytd) is lower than any carrier in Europe. Our average fare of €50 is (by some distance) lower than any other EU carrier. Our tight cost management, at a time when competitor costs are rising faster, will enable Ryanair to expand our price and cost leadership over all other EU airlines for the foreseeable future. The combination of Ryanair’s industry leading costs and customer service, strong cash flows and balance sheet, gives Ryanair a unique platform to deliver its next decade of growth as we target a 20% share of the EU short-haul market by growing to over 120m pax p.a.
Stansted Airport Sale
The sale of Stansted should be completed by the end of Spring. We welcome its purchase by MAG and look forward to working with them (as we do currently in Manchester, East Midlands, and Bournemouth) to grow Stansted’s low fare traffic back over 23m, where it was in 2007 before the BAA monopoly doubled Stansted’s fees. We also welcome the CAA’s announcement that is “minded to” rule that Stansted has market power, and will need effective regulation to protect Stansted users from exploitation by the airport monopoly particularly when “there is evidence to suggest that Stansted is pricing above the competitive level”.
Aer Lingus Update.
Under Irish Takeover Panel rules we are unable in these results to update on our offer to acquire Aer LingusAccordingly we are issuing a separate announcement on this matter today.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said:

“Ryanair has submitted a radical and unprecedented remedies package to the EU in support of its offer for Aer Lingus. We believe these remedies address every current Ryanair\Aer Lingus crossover route and all other competition issues raised by the Commission in its Statement of Objections. The remedies involve two upfront buyers each basing aircraft in Ireland to takeover and operate a substantial part of Aer Lingus’ existing route network and short-haul business. This will be the first EU airline merger which will deliver structural divestitures and multiple upfront buyers. We look forward to completing our offer for Aer Lingus subject to receiving approval from the EU competition authorities in early March”.
Hedging & Balance Sheet.
We have recently extended our fuel hedges to 75% of FY 14 at $97pbl and hedges on our fuel exposures at $1.32. At current rates our FY14 fuel cost per passenger will rise by approx. 5%, compared to a 14% increase in FY13.
A 2nd special dividend of €492m (€0.34 per share) was paid to shareholders in Q3, bringing to €1.53bn the funds returned by Ryanair to shareholders over the last five years. Ryanair’s balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry, with closing Q3 gross cash of €3.15bn. We expect the year end net cash to be positive despite directly owning over 70% of our fleet of 305 young Boeing 737-800s.
Outlook.
Our Q3 yields were boosted by stronger pre-Christmas bookings, while lower than expected operating costs delivered slightly better profits than forecast. However Q4 traffic (as previously guided) will drop by approx.400,000 passengers (-3%)below last year’s Q4, due to our grounding up to 80 aircraft which limits the impact of high oil prices, high airport fees at Stansted and Dublin, and seasonally weaker Q4 demand. On the basis of this improved Q3 result, our capacity cuts and limited visibility over Easter bookings and yields, (although we have seen some yield softness in January), we now expect our full year profits to exceed our previous guidance (of €490m to €520m) and rise close to €540m, a 7% increase on last year’s profits despite a 19% increase in our oil costs.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) arrivs at the London (Stansted) hub with promotional Scotland stickers.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair announces its first new bases out of the European Union

Ryanair (Dublin) today (January 16) announced it will open two new bases in Morocco in 2013, at Fez (Number 56) and Marrakech (Number 57) with a total of three based-aircraft, as Ryanair invests over $210 million in Morocco. Ryanair also announced two new Moroccan airports, at Essaouira and Rabat as it grows its operations in Morocco in 2013 to 60 routes and 8 airports, which will deliver up to 2.5 million passenger per year and support 2,500* “on-site” jobs in Morocco.

Ryanair will grow in Morocco in 2013 as follows:
Fez (new base):
·  1 based aircraft
  • 15 routes
  • 4 new routes: Lille, Nantes, Nimes and St. Etienne
  • 600,000 passengers per year
  • 600* “on site” jobs
Marrakech (new base):
·  2 based aircraft
  • 22 routes
  • 7 new routes: Baden, Bergerac, Cuneo (Italy), Dole (France), Munich, Paris (Vatry) and Tours
  • 1 million passengers per year
  • 1,000* “on site” jobs
Essaouira (new airport):
·  2 routes: Brussels and Marseille
Rabat (new airport):
·  3 routes: Brussels, Paris and Marseille
Ryanair’s new Moroccan routes will begin in April.
* According to Ryanair, ACI research confirms up to 1,000 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1 million passengers.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAO (msn 33550) “Pride of Scotland” taxies at London (Stansted).
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair announces its 55th base at Chania, Greece

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its first Greek base and the 55th base in total at Chania in April 2013 with one based aircraft. The ultra low-fare airline unveiled 11 new routes (26 in total), from Chania to Billund, Bremen, Bristol, Eindhoven, Katowice, Marseille, Memmingen, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius and Warsaw. Ryanair is investing over $70 million at Chania.
Chania is the second largest city on the island of Crete and is also the capital of the Chania region. Chania is located the north coast of the island, about 90 miles west of Heraklion which gets most of the traffic to Crete.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCL (msn 33806) painted in the Dreamliner promotional colors arrives at the London (Stansted) hub.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

The Irish government opposes the latest takeover bid of Aer Lingus by Ryanair

The Republic of Ireland, which owns 25 percent of Aer Lingus (Dublin), has publicly expressed its opposition to the takeover of Aer Lingus by rival Ryanair (Dublin). The European Commission will be the final judge on whether Ryanair can continue to acquire additional shares of Aer Lingus for a possible controlling interest. Ryanair currently controls 30 percent of Aer Lingus stock.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Ryanair issued the following “no comment statement”:

Ryanair said it has no comment to make on the Minister Varadkar’s statement. Since the Government owns just 25% of Aer Lingus, it has no power to block Ryanair’s offer, which can still be successfully completed if we acquire a shareholding of 50% or more (Ryanair currently owns 30%).

The progress of Ryanair’s offer is subject to the outcome of the current EU competition review and Ryanair is continuing to progress that approval process, having submitted an unprecedented remedies package, which will increase competition, choice, traffic and jobs to and from the island of Ireland.
In other news for Ryanair, the ultra-fare carrier announced it had received the final two aircraft of its current Boeing order, growing its fleet to 305 Boeing 737-800s.

According to the airline, “Ryanair’s fleet is the youngest in Europe, with an average age of less than four years, making Ryanair the greenest and cleanest airline. Ryanair confirmed its intention to place a significant order for further aircraft once a sensible pricing agreement with a suitable manufacturer can be reached.”
Ryanair also announced a new route from Ireland West Airport Knock to Malaga in Spain starting on April 4, 2013. Ryanair also announced a new route from London Stansted to Kefalonia in Greece from April 1, 2013 and a new route from East Midlands to Zadar also from April 1, 2013.
Finally Ryanair announced it would open its 54th base (first in Croatia) at Zadar in April 2013 with one-based aircraft and unveiled 7 new routes (16 in total), to/from Dublin, East Midlands, Gothenburg, Haugesund, Liverpool, Paris and Wroclaw.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Aer Lingus is an Airbus operator and Ryanair is a loyal Boeing customer up until now, although it is due to place another order. The battle for Aer Lingus could also determine which manufacturer prevails in the future if a takeover and merger is successful. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPR (msn 3169) of Aer Lingus arrives at London (Heathrow).
Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Ryanair to open a new base at Krakow, Poland

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it would open its 53rd base and second in Poland at Krakow in April 2013 with two-based aircraft and unveiled 4 new routes (31 in total), to/from Dortmund, Gothenburg, Manchester and Kos, as Ryanair invests over $140 million at Krakow Airport.

Ryanair will grow at Krakow as follows:
  • 2 based aircraft
  • 31 routes
  • 4 new routes to/from Dortmund, Gothenburg, Manchester and Kos
  • Increased frequencies on 3 other routes
  • 224 weekly flights (up 16%)
  • 1.6 million pax p.a (up 14%)
  • 1,600 “on site” jobs

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHR (msn 33822) is pictured at Lasham.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

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