Category Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair announces new routes from Bucharest and Vilnius to London Southend, will fly to Georgia

Ryanair has announced two new Southend routes to Bucharest and Vilnius, commencing in November 2019. The new route to Bucharest will operate with a five times weekly service, while the new Vilnius route will operate three times weekly.

In other news, the airline also announced its first ever flights from Georgia, the 39th country in the Ryanair network, with a new route from Tbilisi to Milan Bergamo and two new routes from Kutaisi to Bologna and Marseille, which start in November as part of Ryanair’s Winter 2019 schedule. Ryanair will also connect Tbilisi to Cologne in April as part of Ryanair’s Summer 2020 schedule.

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Ryanair Irish pilots withdraw from mediation, will strike for 48 hours on August 22-23

Ryanair made this announcement:

Ryanair pilots and their union Fórsa on August 14 withdrew from Mediation talks chaired by Mr Kieran Mulvey when no progress was made on their unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.

At yesterday’s mediation, the Ryanair Pilots Committee and Fórsa confirmed that they are seeking pay increases of 101% on top of current annual pay of over €172,000. Ryanair Pilots are insisting on these pay demands being met, just one day after Norwegian announced the closure of its Dublin operations with the loss of over 120 crew jobs, despite the fact that Ryanair has a surplus of over 500 pilots due to the delayed delivery of over 30 MAX aircraft this winter, and just 10 weeks before a “no-deal” Brexit could cause further disruption to air travel and airline jobs in Ireland and the UK.

Ryanair has called on its pilots and the Fórsa union to return to Independent Mediation with reasonable proposals which reflect the falling airfares and profits Ryanair has recently reported, as well as the fact that Ryanair pilot pay is already 20% ahead of comparable 737 airline pilot pay in Norwegian and Jet2.

Speaking yesterday evening, Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said:

“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays. However, no company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers for a further pay increase of over 100% (when they already agreed and received a 20% pay increase earlier this year) at a time when the airline industry is in crisis.

Ryanair pilots who are already among the best paid workers in Ireland are now threatening to disrupt the holiday travel plans of thousands of customers over the coming weeks as they demand that their pay be increased from €172,000 p.a. to over €347,000 p.a. that would see them earn more than the President of Ireland or our Taoiseach, even as Norwegian makes all of its Dublin pilots redundant. We remain willing to engage in Mediation with our pilots and Fórsa but call on them to avoid disrupting our customers’ travel plans in pursuit of what are clearly unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.”

 

Meanwhile Forsa issued this statement:

Directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to take strike action for 48 hours from 00.01am on Thursday 22nd August. Their union served strike notice on the company this evening (Wednesday), and said Ryanair pilots would notify the company of further strike days in due course.

The move comes after 94% of directly-employed Ryanair pilots, who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), voted to back industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay, working conditions and related issues.

The union said that the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) had submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March of this year, which sought pay levels and structures it says are in line with sector norms. The IALPA claim also included proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the union accepted an invitation from mediator Kieran Mulvey to attend talks this afternoon. It said that only a substantive counter-proposal from Ryanair management, which properly addressed all areas of the IALPA claim, was required to convince pilots’ representatives not to take strike action next week. No such counter-proposal was made at the mediation meeting today.

Denying management claims that the company had not received specific proposals, the union said Ryanair had received detailed proposals almost four months ago. But the airline made no significant response, even in the face of a costly and potentially disruptive stoppage.

Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk said Ryanair pilots told her they’d been forced into industrial action by the company’s failure to offer any significant response to their proposals over a four-month period. She said she regretted any disruption that might flow from management’s unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package, even at this late hour.

IALPA is seeking pay levels it believes are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a substantial profit of €1 billion last year. They tell me they feel forced into serving notice of potentially-disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional, transparent and constructive manner,” she said.

Some 180 directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of IALPA, were eligible to vote in the strike ballot, the results of which were announced last Friday (9th August). Ryanair pilots who are employed by agencies, or have so-called ‘self-employed’ status, cannot be balloted under Irish employment law.

ECA: Ryanair on a confrontation course, again

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) has issued this statement:

This will be the second summer of industrial unrest in a row for Ryanair and the underlying root causes seem similar, and familiar to those of last year: Ryanair’s inability to undertake genuine social dialogue with its employees.

“One year was sufficient for Ryanair to acquire and develop two new airlines – Malta Air and Ryanair Sun in Poland – and to buy a 3rd one – Laudamotion in Austria,” says ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau. “But in all this time Ryanair has failed to negotiate long hoped-for Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) with its crew in several major countries. Improving relations with its employees clearly seems to have shifted to a lower place on the priority list.”

In the current highly sensitive context of social unrest, Ryanair seems to have opted again for its favorite approach: confrontation. The company issued warnings of job cuts, but few in the industry are convinced by the justification provided by the airline. The continually varying threats are reminiscent of last year’s, made after 100 Irish pilots walked out. However, with a future flying program larger than this year’s, even with the delayed arrival of ‘growth’ 737 MAX aircraft, and management continuing to recruit pilots, it is difficult to see these ever-changing warnings of a pilot surplus as genuine.

pilot ryanair strike

Dublin, July 2018

Ryanair announced cuts to 20% of its Dublin-based fleet this winter and possibly the dismissal of 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew in the weeks to come. This decision comes in the immediate aftermath of a series of one-day strikes by Irish based pilots and further industrial action across Europe.

“The Recognition Agreements with unions and the partial deals (e.g. on seniority) that Ryanair reached last summer were enough to buy the airline some time, but it has not been used to secure lasting industrial peace and a sustainable future for the airline. The ill-disguised threats to crew over the past weeks, regretfully, are yet another show of disregard for its employees and social dialogue. Has management really learnt nothing at all – or is it simply resistant to genuine change?”, asks Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General.

“With the outlines of future opportunities for union busting and social dumping already visible in Malta Air and Ryanair Sun, it is not surprising pilots are standing up to ensure their agreements, labour rights, and previous pledges from the airline will be respected,” says ECA President Jon Horne.

ECA is the representative body of over 40,000 pilots from across Europe, striving for the highest levels of aviation safety and fostering social rights and quality employment for pilots in Europe.

Ryanair fiscal first quarter profits fall by 21% to €243m due to lower fares, higher fuel and staff costs

Ryanair has submitted this financial report:

Ryanair Holdings plc today (July 29) reported a 21% fall in Q1 profits to €243m. A 6% decline in ave. fare was offset by strong ancillary revenues and 11% traffic growth to 42m guests. Costs rose 19% as our fuel bill increased 24% and Lauda costs were fully consolidated (but not in the prior year quarter).

 

Q1 (IFRS) Jun. 2018 Jun. 2019 % Change
Guests 37.6m 41.9m +11%
Load Factor 96% 96%  –
Revenue €2.08bn €2.31bn +11%
PAT €309m €243m -21%
Basic EPS (euro cent) 26.62 21.47 -19%

 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“As previously guided, Q1 profits fell 21% to €243m due to lower fares, higher fuel and staff costs.

Q1 highlights include:

 

  • Revenue per guest flat at €55 (6% lower fares offset by 14% higher ancillary rev.)
  • Traffic up 11% to 42m guests
  • 239 new routes & 4 new bases (Bordeaux, Marseille, Southend & Berlin) launched
  • Malta Air becomes the 4th Group airline
  • Lauda Airbus fleet grows to 20 A320s
  • MAX deliveries are further delayed to end of year
  • Ryanair becomes first EU airline to publish monthly CO₂ emissions (66g per pax/km)
  • €700m share buyback commenced in May

Revenue

Revenues rose 11% to €2.3bn. A 6% decline in average fare to €36 stimulated 11% traffic growth to 42m guests. The two weakest markets were Germany, where Lufthansa was allowed to buy Air Berlin and is selling this excess capacity at below cost prices, and the UK where Brexit concerns weigh negatively on consumer confidence and spending. Ancillaries, driven by strong priority boarding and preferred seats sales, grew 27% to €0.8bn. As a result, revenue per passenger (“RPP”) was broadly flat at €55. Ryanair Labs continues to develop services to improve customer experience and later this year will roll-out a new digital platform with improved, personalised, guest offers.

 

Cost Leadership

Ryanair has the lowest unit costs of any EU airline. As expected, our Q1 fuel bill increased 24% (up  €150m) due to higher prices & volume growth. Unit costs ex. fuel rose by 4%, mainly due to the consolidation of Lauda (not in the prior year Q1 comp.), the handback of expensive leases to Lufthansa, replacing them with 20 lower cost A320 operating leases, and a 21% increase in staff costs.  We continue to negotiate attractive growth deals as airports compete to attract Ryanair’s reliable traffic growth. Our FY20 fuel bill is 90% hedged at $709 per tonne and 37% hedged for FY21 at $632.

 

On-Time Performance (OTP)

Our investment in operational efficiency, including more spares, additional engineers and new improved handling contracts in Stansted, Spain & Poland has seen our OTP improve more than 7% points in Q1 to over 90% (excl. ATC). In June 2018 we cancelled over 1,100 flights due to ATC strikes but this was reduced to just 20 cancellations in June 2019, all of which were due to ATC staff shortage delays. Regrettably, ATC staffing delays continue to damage the punctuality of all EU airlines, particularly at weekends. We are working hard to ensure our guests enjoy on-time flights and we continue to campaign with our partners in A4E to encourage the European Commission to take action to minimise the impact of ATC staff shortages and strikes on overflights.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker

Boeing 737 MAX

The delivery of our first 5 B737-MAX aircraft has been delayed from Q1 to probably January at the earliest (subject to EASA approval). We now expect to receive only 30 MAX deliveries in time for S.20 (previously 58) which will cut Ryanair’s S.20 growth rate from 7% to 3% (162m to approx. 157m guests in FY21). We have great confidence that these “gamechanger” aircraft (which have 4% more seats, but burn 16% less fuel and have 40% lower noise emissions) will transform our costs and our business. Due to these delivery delays, we will not now see these cost savings delivered until FY21.

 

Balance Sheet

Our balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry with over 60% of our fleet debt free.  In May the Board approved a €700m share buyback programme and in Q1 we returned almost €100m to shareholders. Following the adoption of the new lease accounting standard (IFRS16) future operating lease obligations are now included on our balance sheet for the first time (adding over €220m to debt at June 30). Despite the share buyback and the impact of IFRS16, net debt was broadly flat at quarter end at €419m.

 

Group Airlines

In June, Malta Air became the 4th airline in the Ryanair Group.  This start-up will grow our Maltese operation from 6 to 10 based aircraft over the next 3 years. It will also operate all our French, German and Italian bases. This summer, Lauda is operating 20 lower cost A320s. These aircraft, coupled with other cost efficiencies and improving ancillary revenues will significantly lower Lauda losses in Year 2, despite lower fares due to excess capacity in the German and Austrian markets. Buzz, in Poland, will operate 7 charter and 17 scheduled aircraft this summer and continues to grow profitability in its second year of operations. We expect high fuel prices and overcapacity in European short-haul to lead to further airline failures this winter creating more growth opportunities for Ryanair’s 4 airlines.

 

EU’s Cleanest, Greenest Airline

In June Ryanair became the first EU airline to report monthly CO₂ emissions. With the highest load factor, and one of the youngest fleets, Ryanair delivers the lowest CO₂ per passenger/km of any major EU airline. Our CO₂ emissions have been cut by 20% over the last decade and we are committed to reducing this by a further 10% to under 60 grams per passenger/km by 2030. In May we launched our environmental partnerships, where we invest in carbon offset projects in Africa, Portugal and Ireland. Ryanair paid over €540m in environmental taxes in FY19 and expects to pay over €630m in FY20 (up 17%).

 

Board Succession

Following Stan McCarthy’s appointment as Deputy Chairman in April 2019, the Board has nominated Louise Phelan to take over as Senior Independent Director in Summer 2020 following the then retirement of current SID Kyran McLaughlin from the Board.

 

FY20 Guidance

We continue to guide broadly flat FY20 PAT in a range of €750m to €950m.  The current weak fare environment has continued into Q2 and we expect H1 fares to be down approx. 6%.  With almost zero H2 visibility, FY20 fare guidance is towards the lower end of our guided -2% to +1% range.  However, the strong performance of ancillaries continues to support our RPP growth of +2% to +3% (previously +2% to +4%).  We expect traffic to grow by 7% to over 152m, slightly less than the 153m previously guided due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays.  Costs will increase as our fuel bill grows by €450m and, as previously guided, we expect ex-fuel unit costs will rise by just 2%.  This guidance remains heavily dependent on close-in Q2 fares, H2 prices, the absence of security events, and no negative Brexit developments in H2.”

Reuters: Ryanair halves 2020 growth plans on Boeing MAX delays, will fly to Lebanon

From Reuters:

Ryanair has slashed its growth plans for next summer due to delays in the Boeing 737 MAX.

Read the full report.

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

In other news, Ryanair also announced its first ever flights from Beirut Airport, its newest airport and its first Lebanese airport, with a new three times weekly route to Paphos, Cyprus commencing in October, as part of its Winter 2019 schedule.

Is Ryanair rebranding its Boeing 737-8 MAX jets on order as the “737-8200”

Woodys Aeroimages captured a subtle change on Ryanair’s new high capacity Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 airplanes.

Apparently the airline (or Boeing) has made a marketing decision to change the designation from “737 MAX” to an unofficial “737-8200” designation. The 200 refers to the seating capacity of Ryanair’s version.

The type certificate still has the type listed as the Boeing 737-8. MAX 8 is a marketing name developed by Boeing. Given all of bad news, Boeing will probably have to rebrand the type once all fixes are approved and implemented.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting the type may be grounded into 2020 due to rising safety concerns.

Ryanair to set up a subsidiary airline in Malta – Malta Air

Ryanair is planning to set up a new airline based in Malta called Malta Air. Ryanair will transfer its routes to the island to the new company once established.

The airline made this announcement of its purchase of Malta Air:

Ryanair Holdings on June 11 announced it has agreed to purchase Malta Air, a Maltese start up airline, into which Ryanair will move and grow its Malta based fleet of 6 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

This investment in Malta Air will allow Ryanair to grow its already sizable presence in Malta (3 million customers a year), and access non-EU markets (North Africa) from Malta. Completion is planned for the end of June, following which Ryanair Holdings will;

 

  • Switch 6 Malta based aircraft (worth over $600m) onto the Maltese register
  • 200 Malta based crew move onto local contracts paying local Maltese taxes
  • Increase its Malta based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years and create over 350 jobs
  • Brand its Malta based fleet in Malta Air colors (below) for Summer 2020
  • Move Ryanair based aircraft from France, Italy and Germany onto the Malta AOC which will allow these crews to pay their income taxes locally in France, Italy and Germany instead of Ireland where they are currently required to pay income taxes under Ryanair’s Irish AOC.

Speaking in Malta today, Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary said:

 

Ryanair is pleased to welcome Malta Air to the Ryanair Group of airlines which now includes Buzz (Poland), Lauda (Austria), Malta Air, and Ryanair (Ireland).

Malta Air will proudly fly the Maltese name and flag to over 60 destinations across Europe and North Africa as we look to grow our Maltese based fleet, routes, traffic and jobs over the next three years.                                                     

Ryanair’s continued partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority will help drive forward the vision of Prime Minister Muscat and Minister Mizzi to grow year round connections to all corners of Europe which will support increased tourism, business and jobs in Malta.

Ryanair appreciates the expertise of the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) in licencing Malta Air to operate the Boeing 737 aircraft and we look forward to working closely with the Maltese authorities over the coming years as we hope to add over 50 more aircraft to the Maltese register.”

 

Malta Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi, said:

“The relationship between Ryanair and Malta has evolved into a successful collaboration. We welcome Ryanair’s commitment to operate and grow a fully fledged Malta-based airline which will contribute in a large way to the country’s development.”

Photo: Ryanair.