Category Archives: Ryanair

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.

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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.

Ryanair launches new Dublin route to Toulouse, ready to order more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Ryanair on May 24 launched a new route from Dublin to Toulouse, with a four times weekly service as part of its Winter 2019 schedule. Ryanair also announced that this new Toulouse route will continue for Summer 2020, operating daily from April 2020.

Ryanair’s Dublin Summer 2019 schedule includes 100 routes in total with 14 new routes: Bordeaux (2pw), Bournemouth (4pw), Bodrum (2pw), Cagliari (2pw), Dubrovnik (4pw) Gothenburg (2pw), Split(4pw), London Southend (twice daily), Lourdes (2pw), Milan Malpensa (daily), Thessaloniki (2pw), Luxembourg (3pw), Frankfurt (12pw), and Kyiv (2pw).

In other news, CEO Michael O’Leary in an interview on CNBC, stated he is ready to order more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft despite the grounding.

Video:

 

Ryanair full year profit down 29% to €1.02 billion, will delay the delivery of its first MAX 8

Ryanair today (May 20, 2019) reported a full year profit of €1.02 billion (excluding Lauda). Strong traffic growth, up 7% to 139m, was offset by a 6% decline in fares. Strong ancillary growth (+19%) was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs.

Full-year Results (IFRS)* Mar. 31, 2018 Mar. 31, 2019 % Change
Guests 130.3m 139.1m +7%
Load Factor 95% 96% +1%
Revenue €7.15bn €7.56bn +6%
PAT €1.45bn €1.02bn -29%

* excl. Lauda €139.5m exceptional start-up loss (FY19).  Group traffic (incl. Lauda) was 142m

 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“As previously guided, Ryanair (excl. Lauda) reports a full year after tax profit of €1.02bn.  Short-haul capacity growth and the absence of Easter in Q4 led to a 6% fare decline, which stimulated 7% traffic growth to over 139m (142m guests incl. Lauda).  Ancillary sales performed strongly up 19% to €2.4bn, which drove total revenue growth of 6% to €7.6bn.

 

FY19 highlights include:

  • fare fell 6% to just €37
  • Traffic grew 9% to 142m (incl. Lauda)
  • Ancillary revenue rose 19% to €2.4bn
  • end fleet grew to 455 B737 & 19 A320 aircraft
  • 406 new routes and 9 new bases launched
  • Ryanair Sun (Buzz) traded profitably in Yr.1
  • Purchase of Lauda completed in Dec. with an exceptional Yr.1 loss of €139m
  • UK AOC received in Dec.
  • Union agreements concluded in most major markets
  • Over €560m returned to shareholders via buybacks

Revenue

Revenues rose 6% to €7.6bn due to 7% higher traffic, a 6% cut in ave. fares to €37, while  Ryanair Labs continues to stimulate ancillary sales growth with spend per guest up 11% to over €17.  Priority boarding and reserved seat services grew strongly.  Ryanair Labs continues to improve our digital platform (website, app & 3rd party ancillary plug-ins).

 

Cost Leadership

Ryanair has the lowest unit costs of any EU airline, and the cost gap with EU competitors continues to widen. FY19 was a year of investment in our people, our support systems and our business as we grow to 200m guests p.a. by 2024.  Ex-fuel unit costs rose 5% (better than previously guided 6%) due to €200m higher staff costs (incl. 20% pilot pay increases) and €50m higher EU261 costs due to the repeated ATC staff shortage disruptions in FY19. As weaker European airlines are sold or fail, airports are competing to attract Ryanair’s efficient, high load factor, traffic growth.  Our airport costs are 35% lower than our nearest competitor. During FY19 our oil bill increased by €440m. We are 90% hedged for FY20 at $709 per tonne and 35% hedged for Q1 FY21 at $654.

 

Group Airlines

In S.2018 we launched Ryanair Sun (now rebranded “Buzz”), our Polish AOC, with 5 B737 aircraft offering charter flights to/from Poland.  Buzz has taken over Ryanair’s scheduled bases in Poland and will operate a fleet of 25 aircraft in FY20 (incl. 7 for charters).  The Buzz management team successfully delivered a modest profit in their first year of operations.

In December 2018, Lauda (an Austrian AOC) became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ryanair Group. We consolidated 3m customers in its first year of operations to March 2019 but suffered exceptional start-up losses of €139.5m, mainly due to the very late release of its S.2018 schedules, very low promotional fares, expensive short-term aircraft leases and an unhedged fuel position. Lauda enters its second year with a larger (lower-cost) fleet of 23 A320 aircraft, and a target of just over 6m guests p.a. They have signed agreements to grow this fleet to 35 x A320 aircraft for S.2020 and by year 3 (FY21) we believe Lauda will grow to carry over 8m guests p.a. and will be trading profitably.

Read more from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Higher oil prices and lower fares have seen a wave of EU airline failures including Primera (UK & Spain), Small Planet, Azur and Germania (Germany), Sky Works (Switz.), VLM (Belgium), Cobalt (Cyprus), Cello & Flybmi (UK) and WOW (Iceland).  Flybe (UK) was sold, while both Alitalia and Thomas Cook airline are currently for sale.

Ryanair closed unprofitable bases in Bremen and Eindhoven and we cut aircraft numbers in Niederrhein, Hahn and the Canary Islands. Norwegian has closed multiple bases (many where they compete with Ryanair), including Rome, Las Palmas, Palma, Tenerife, Edinburgh & Belfast, and they will cut their Dublin base from 6 to 1 aircraft in October. Wizz (Poznan), Lufthansa (Dusseldorf) and EasyJet (Oporto) have also announced base cuts and/or closures in recent months. We expect further consolidation and airline failures in winter 2019 and again into 2020 due to over-capacity, weaker fares, and higher oil prices particularly among those airlines who are significantly unhedged, or unable to hedge.

Boeing 737 MAX

We have delayed the delivery of our first 5 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Winter 2019 (subject to regulatory approval by EASA). We continue to have utmost confidence in these aircraft which have 4% more seats, are 16% more fuel efficient and generate 40% lower noise emissions. They are hedged at an average €/$ rate of 1.24 out to FY24, and will deliver significant unit cost savings for the next 5 years, although the delayed deliveries in 2019 means that we will not see any meaningful cost benefit until FY21.

 

Balance Sheet & Fleet

The Group’s BBB+ rated balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry.  Almost 95% of our 455 aircraft fleet is owned, with over 63% debt free. At year end the Group had €3.2bn gross cash. Ryanair generated almost €2bn net cash from operations in FY19, but spent over €1.5bn on capex (primarily aircraft, simulators, engines & hangars), returned €560m to shareholders in share buybacks, and repaid more than €400m of debt.  As a result, year-end net debt rose slightly to €450m.  We recently concluded a low-cost, €750m unsecured (5-year) bank facility.  This facility, coupled with strong operating cashflows, will fund this year’s peak capex of c.€2bn, maturing secured debt and other general corporate purposes.  We are also in advanced negotiations to sell 10 of our oldest B737s for over $170m before the end of March 2020.

 

Shareholder Distributions

The Board has approved a €700m share buyback which will commence later this week and run over the next 9 to 12 months.  We expect to split this approx. €500m/€200m between ADR’s and ordinary shares, although the Board has discretion to revise this allocation.  This latest buyback will bring to almost €7bn of the funds returned to shareholders since 2008.

 

FY20 Guidance

While we separately disclosed Lauda’s year 1 start-up loss as exceptional in FY19, their FY20 results will not be split out in the Ryanair Group income statement.  FY20 guidance is therefore for the consolidated Ryanair Group.

Our outlook for FY20 remains cautious on pricing. Traffic will grow by 8% to 153m. Assuming revenue per pax (“RPP”) growth of 3%, we are guiding broadly flat Group profits. This will range from €750m if RPP rises 2%, up to €950m if RPP rises 4%.  While H1 bookings are slightly ahead of last year, fares are lower and we expect this trend will continue through S.2019. We have zero H2 visibility.  Costs will increase as our full-year fuel bill jumps by another €460m.  Ex-fuel unit costs will rise by just 2%, mainly due to stronger sterling, the absence of Lauda prior-year cost comparisons for most of H1 and delivery delays of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this year. This guidance is heavily dependent on close-in peak summer fares, H2 prices, the absence of security events, and no negative Brexit developments.”

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. A new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 (EI-HAW) for Ryanair at Renton.

Ryanair opens a new London Southend base with 3 Aircraft and 14 routes

Ryanair on April 2 officially opened its new base at London Southend with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft and kicked off its summer 19 schedule with 14 new routes, including exciting new connections to Alicante, Corfu, Faro and Milan Bergamo.

In other news, Ryanair, on April 1 also celebrated the first flight on its new twice-weekly Liverpool service to Copenhagen. Ryanair’s Liverpool summer schedule includes 34 routes in total, with three new routes to Corfu, Paphos and Copenhagen.

Finally, Ryanair on April 3 celebrated the first flight on its new twice weekly Cardiff service to Malta. Ryanair’s Cardiff summer schedule includes 5 routes in total, with three new routes to Malta, Barcelona and Malaga.

All photos by Ryanair.