Ryanair has announced it will open 67 routes to/from Austria commencing on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, as part of Ryanair’s post COVID-19 Summer 2020 schedule.
Its Vienna base will offer 64 routes, including summer services to Palma de Mallorca, Rome, Faro and Athens, and many more.
As Austrians taxes get wasted on illegal State Aid to German owned Austrian Airlines, Ryanair will guarantee low fares for Austrian customers/visitors at prices which start from €9.99 one way. Vienna holiday makers can now plan an exciting summer getaway with fares starting from just €9.99 for travel in July and August before some misguided Austrian Minister tries to ban them.
Following the reopening of Lauda’s Vienna A320 base on July 1, Ryanair will operate to/from Vienna with a mixture of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Since Lauda will become a wet lease provider for the Ryanair Group, the famous red brand will continue to fly over the skies of Austria from July 1, 2020.
Ryanair’s Austria 2020 schedule will deliver:
64 Vienna routes including;
Over 25 summer destination including Faro, Malaga, Malta, Naples & Palma.
Over 20 city break destinations including Dublin, Milan, Madrid, Lisbon & Warsaw.
Ryanair will also operate 2 routes to/from Salzburg and 1 route to/from Klagenfurt.
Ryanair Group CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:
“Ryanair is pleased to open 67 new routes to/from Austria starting from 1 July, as part of our Summer 2020 schedule. Our Vienna base will serve 64 routes, with air fares starting from just €9.99 one way before some crazy Austrian Minister tries to force Austrian consumers and visitors to pay higher €40 air fares!!! Ryanair will provide non-State Subsidised competition and choice to the high fare Austrian Airlines (which is a subsidiary of the German subsidy junkie Lufthansa Group). Ryanair will oppose any illegal effort by the Austrian Govt to force consumers to pay high fares. Austrian citizens are entitled to low fares and nobody provides lower fares than Ryanair.
To celebrate our Summer 2020 schedules we have launched a seat sale with fares from just €9.99 one way, for travel in July and August 2020, which must be booked by midnight Saturday (27th June). To avoid missing out on these amazing low prices, customers should log onto http://www.ryanair.com and book their flight with us today!”.
Ryanair Holdings plc today (May 18) reported a full year profit of €1,002m (exclusive hedge ineffectiveness), compared to €885m last year. Highlights include:
Traffic grew 4% to 149m guests.
Revenue per guest rose 6% to €57 (2% higher fares & ancillary rev. up 16%).
Over 90% of flights arrived on-time (excl. ATC delays).
EU’s greenest, cleanest airline (66g CO₂ pax/km).
5 new bases & 390 new routes.
Malta Air became 4th Group airline.
New digital platform launched with improved, personalised, guest offers.
Strong balance sheet & liquidity.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Besten. Ryanair Boeing 737-800s stored at Hahn, Germany.
FY20 (IFRS) – Group*
31 Mar. 2019
31 Mar. 2020
*excl. €353m except. hedge ineffectiveness charge
Unlawful State Aid – to date
€ 3.5bn plus
€ 1.8bn plus
€ 0.8bn plus
€ 0.7bn plus
€ 0.3bn plus
Most of Ryanair’s fleet was grounded from mid-March by EU Government flight bans and restrictions. These groundings reduced our March and full year traffic by over 5m guests and cut FY20 profits by over €40m. As updated on 1 May, Ryanair expects to operate less than 1% of its scheduled flying programme in Q1 (Apr. to June). Some return to flight services is expected in Q2 (July-Sept.) and Ryanair expects to carry no more than 50% of its original Q2 traffic target of 44.6m, as bookings will be impacted by public health restrictions (temperature checks and face coverings for passengers and staff) and quarantine requirements. When Group airlines return to scheduled flying from July, the competitive landscape in Europe will be distorted by unprecedented quantums of State Aid (in breach of EU rules) under which over €30bn has been gifted to the Lufthansa Group, Air France-KLM, Alitalia, SAS and Norwegian among others. We therefore expect that traffic on reduced flight schedules will be subject to significant price discounting, and below cost selling, from these flag carriers with huge State Aid war chests.
BUSINESS REVIEW (FY20):
Sales grew 10% to €8.5bn. Scheduled Revenue, driven by 4% traffic growth to 149m and 2% higher fares, increased by 6% to €5.6bn. Covid-19 flight restrictions and aircraft groundings in the 2nd half of March reduced traffic by over 5m in Q4. Ancillary Revenue rose by 20% to €2.9bn as more guests choose Priority Boarding and Preferred Seat services. In Oct., Ryanair Labs launched a new digital platform with improved, personalised, guest offers. This bedded down well in Q4, prior to Covid-19 groundings, with Labs focusing on improved penetration across core ancillary products.
Our fuel bill rose 14% (+€335m) to €2.8bn due to higher prices and 4% traffic growth. Ex-fuel unit costs were adversely impacted by a 48% drop in March traffic (-5.2m guests) due to Covid-19 groundings and, as a result, rose by 4% (ahead of the +2% guided). Higher staff costs (increased pilot pay & higher crew ratios as pilot resignations slowed to zero) and maintenance costs (older aircraft longer in the fleet due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays) were offset by falling EU261 costs (due to better on-time-performance) and lower route charges. The Group has recorded an exceptional €353m (net of tax) hedge ineffectiveness charge on FY21 fuel hedges (due to Covid-19 groundings), offset by favourable €/$ currency hedges for fuel & delayed capex.
During FY20, the Ryanair Group continued to evolve. Buzz increased its fleet to 45 Boeing 737-800s and expanded outside Poland with new bases in Prague and Budapest.
Lauda underperformed in FY20 with fares lower than expected, due to intense price competition from Lufthansa subsidiaries in its core Austrian and German markets. FY20 traffic, however, grew to 6.4m at high load factors. In April, David O’Brien (former Ryanair CCO) joined the Lauda management team as Joint CEO.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Lauda fleet has been grounded since March 17. With costs running ahead of other Group airlines and Lauda’s main competitor, Austrian Airlines, expected to receive an €800m State Aid bailout, Lauda has had to completely rethink its strategy and significantly lower its growth plans. Its management team are implementing restructuring and cost cutting plans and are currently in discussions with its people and its unions in relation to staff savings to secure the future of its Vienna A320 base. Failure to agree meaningful cost reductions on May 20 will result in the Vienna A320 base being closed on May 30 with over 300 job losses. Lauda has already abandoned plans to operate a base in Zadar for the Ryanair Group.
Malta Air, which became the 4th Group airline last summer, grew strongly in FY20. With a fleet of almost 120 aircraft, it has taken over the Group’s French, German, Italian and Maltese bases. Like Buzz, Lauda and Ryanair DAC, it is also reviewing all areas of its cost base so that it remains competitive in its core markets where it will compete against government bailed out legacy carriers.
Ryanair DAC performed well in FY20 and opened new markets in Armenia, Georgia and Lebanon. Its fleet, however, has dropped to 275 Boeing 737-800s as both Buzz and Malta Air took over flight operations for the Group. Punctuality improved to over 90% (excl. ATC delays) thanks to Ryanair’s investment in new handling arrangements in Stansted, Poland and Spain. In Sept., Eddie Wilson was appointed as Ryanair DAC’s CEO.
Boeing MAX update
It is over a year since the Group was due to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 200 aircraft. Boeing are currently guiding a late summer return to service in the US for the Boeing 737 MAX. We believe it will be at least October before we receive our first MAX 200 aircraft. We remain fans of, and committed to, these “gamechanger” aircraft with 4% more seats & 16% lower fuel burn, which will transform Ryanair’s cost base for the next decade. We are currently reviewing short-term growth plans and are in active negotiations with both Boeing and Lauda’s A320 lessors to reduce planned deliveries over the next 24 months to reflect slower traffic growth post Covid-19 in 2020 & 2021.
Balance Sheet & Liquidity
Ryanair’s balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry with a current cash balance of €4.1bn (Ryanair recently raised £600m under the UK’s CCFF) and 330 unencumbered Boeing 737s (77% of owned fleet). Since mid-March, the Group has implemented a series of measures to preserve cash, cut costs, cancel share buybacks and defer operating and non-essential capex spending. As a result, average weekly cash burn has dropped from approx. €200m in March to just over €60m in May. This liquidity will enable the Group to weather Covid-19 and emerge stronger when the crisis passes. Our focus will remain on cash preservation/generation and the repayment of maturing debt over the next 24 months.
Europe’s Greenest, Cleanest Airline
The future of our planet is of vital importance to our customers and all our people. Ryanair has the lowest carbon emissions of any major EU airline at just 66 grams of CO₂ per passenger km. Passengers switching to Ryanair can halve their CO₂ emissions compared to other major EU airlines. Ryanair operates the youngest fleet, with the highest load factors, and newer more fuel-efficient engines. During FY20, Ryanair launched a new Environmental Policy and appointed a director of sustainability to oversee its implementation.
Senior Board Changes
On June 1 Stan McCarty will succeed David Bonderman as Chairman of the Board and Louise Phelan will replace Kyran McLaughlin as Senior Independent Director. Both David and Kyran will step down from the Board on May 31 and we thank them both for their long service and wise counsel. Ryanair’s new Chairman plans to refresh various Board Committees before the Sept. AGM.
FY21 will be difficult for the Ryanair Group as its airlines work hard to return to scheduled flying following the Covid-19 crisis. Unlike many flag carrier competitors, Ryanair will not request or receive State Aid. Consultations about base closures, pay cuts of up to 20%, unpaid leave and up to 3,000 job cuts (mainly pilots and cabin crew) are under way with our people and our unions. Our Commercial team are also in active discussions with our airport partners regarding S.20, and beyond, capacity allocations. Given the uncertainty over the impact and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with no visibility on what customer behaviour and demand will be following a return to service, Ryanair cannot provide FY21 PAT guidance at this time. The Group expects to record a loss of over €200m in Q1, with a smaller loss expected in Q2 (peak summer) due to a substantial decline in traffic and pricing from Covid-19 groundings. The Group currently expects to carry less than 80m passengers in FY21 (almost 50% below its original 154m target). Ryanair’s return to scheduled flying will be rendered significantly more difficult by competing with flag carrier airlines who will be financing below cost selling with the benefit of over €30bn in unlawful State Aid, in breach of both EU State Aid and competition rules.
As we look beyond the next year, there will be significant opportunities for Ryanair’s low cost, growth model as competitors shrink, fail or are acquired by government bailed out carriers.
Ryanair Holdings plc reported a fiscal third quarter profit of €88m, compared to a €66m loss in the same quarter last year. Highlights include:
Traffic grew 6% to 36m guests.
Revenue per guest rose 13% (9% higher fares; ancillary rev. up 21%).
Over 90% of flights arrived on-time (excl. ATC delays).
111 new routes announced for S.20.
Director of Sustainability appointed to drive our Environmental Policy.
Over €440m returned to shareholders under €700m buyback programme.
Q3 (IFRS) – Group
31 Dec. 2018
31 Dec. 2019
EUROPE’S GREENEST, CLEANEST AIRLINE:
The future of our planet is of vital importance to our customers and all our people. Ryanair has the lowest carbon emissions of any major EU airline at just 66 grams of CO₂ per passenger km. Passengers switching to Ryanair can halve their CO₂ emissions compared to other major EU airlines. In Dec. 2019, Ryanair appointed a Director of Sustainability to deliver the Group’s ambitious sustainability targets.
Ryanair operates the youngest fleet, with the highest load factors, and newer more fuel-efficient engines. Our Environmental Policy commits us to:
Be plastic free in 5 years;
Cut noise emissions by up to 40% per seat;
Cut CO₂ emissions by 10% by 2030 (up to 50% lower than other major EU airlines);
Encourage guests to support our voluntary carbon offset programme;
Work with environmental partners to improve our environment in Europe.
While aviation generates just 2% of Europe’s CO₂, our industry must work harder to further cut these low emissions. EU airlines already pay excessive environmental taxes – Ryanair will pay over €630m in such taxes this year.
Sales grew 21% to €1.91bn. Better than expected Christmas and New Year bookings, at higher fares, led to a 16% increase in Scheduled Revenue to €1.19bn as we carried 36m guests at 9% higher fares. Ancillary Revenue increased by 28% to €0.72bn as more guests choose Priority Boarding and Preferred Seat services. In Oct., Ryanair Labs launched a new digital platform with improved, personalised, guest offers. Labs are now focused on improving penetration across key ancillary products over the coming quarters. Rentalcars.com became our new car hire partner in late 2019 and will help grow car hire penetration and revenue over the next 3 years.
Our fuel bill rose 14% (+€83m) to €0.7bn due to higher prices and 6% traffic growth. Ex-fuel unit costs rose by 1% due to higher staff (increased pilot pay, higher crew ratios as pilot resignations have slowed to almost zero) and maintenance costs (older aircraft longer in the fleet due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays), offset by falling EU261 costs due to improved punctuality. Our fuel is 90% hedged for FY20 at $71bbl and 90% of our FY21 fuel is now hedged at $61bbl, delivering over €100m fuel savings into FY21. We continue to negotiate attractive growth deals as airports compete to win Ryanair’s very limited traffic growth.
The Group airlines continue to grow. In Q3 Buzz increased its fleet to 32 Boeing 737s and expanded outside Poland with new bases in Prague and Budapest. Buzz will grow its fleet to 50 Boeing 737s for summer 2020, with 7 aircraft in Polish charter operations and 43 operating scheduled flying for Ryanair.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.
Lauda continues to underperform with fares much lower than expected, despite strong traffic growth and high load factors. As announced on 10 Jan., this is a direct result of intense price competition with Lufthansa subsidiaries in both Germany and Austria. While Lauda will now carry 6.5m guests in FY20, average fares are well below those of other Group airlines. Lauda’s management is implementing a new cost cutting plan and is improving penetration on ancillary products. Lauda will grow its fleet from 23 to 38 A320s by S.20 with increased capacity in Vienna and a new base in Zadar.
Malta Air continues to grow strongly and has taken over the Group’s French, German, Italian and Maltese bases. Its fleet will grow to 120 aircraft by summer 2020.
Ryanair DAC saw its fleet reduced to 360 Boeing 737s in Q3 as both Buzz and Malta Air took over more flight operations for the Group. Armenia became the newest destination in Jan. Regrettably the Boeing MAX delivery delays mean that Ryanair DAC had to close a number of loss-making winter bases leading to some crew redundancies in Spain, Germany and Sweden. We have endeavoured to minimise job losses through base transfers & seasonal bases and continue to work with our people, their unions and our airports to finalize this process.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.
Boeing MAX update
Delivery of the Group’s first Boeing 737-MAX-200 aircraft has been repeatedly delayed from Q2 2019. It is now likely that our first MAX aircraft will not deliver until Sept. or Oct. 2020. The requirement for MAX simulator training will also slow down the delivery of backlogged aircraft and new deliveries. But we believe that these “gamechanger” aircraft (with 4% more seats, burn 16% less fuel), when delivered, will transform our cost base and our business for the next decade. Due to these delivery delays, we won’t see any of these cost savings until late FY21. As a direct result of these delivery delays, we plan to extend our 200m p.a. passenger target by at least one or two years to FY25 or FY26.
Balance Sheet & Shareholder Returns
Ryanair’s BBB+ rated balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry. 70% of our aircraft are debt free. This allows us to grow while weaker airlines collapse, sell or retrench in the current challenging market. We have returned €440m to shareholders under our current €700m share buyback programme. Despite the share buyback and the impact of IFRS 16 (€230m), net debt was just over €700m at period end. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Boeing MAX aircraft deliveries, peak Capex and maturing bonds in 2021, the Board has decided to extend the current €700m buyback programme until the end of July.
As announced on 10 Jan., Ryanair’s FY20 PAT guidance has risen to a range of €0.95bn to €1.05bn thanks to stronger Christmas and New Year travel bookings, at better than expected fares. Q4 forward bookings are 1% ahead of this time last year at slightly better than expected average fares and we now expect full year traffic to grow by 8% to 154m guests. Ancillary revenues continue to grow, but at a slower rate having annualised the cabin bag changes in Nov. This will support full-year revenue per guest growth of between +3% to +4%. The full year fuel bill will rise by €440m and ex-fuel unit costs will increase by approx. 2%. On the basis of current trading, Ryanair expects to finish close to the mid-point of the new PAT guidance range. This guidance is heavily dependent on close-in Q4 fares and the absence of any security events.
Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda (February 22, 1949 – May 20, 2019) was an Austrian Formula One race car driver, a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion, winning in 1975, 1977 and 1984, and an aviation entrepreneur. Niki Lauda passed away at age 70.
In the aviation part of his life, Niki was involved with the following airlines:
Niki Lauda will remain in our heart and our memory as a visionary leader, a legend of Formula 1 and an aviation pioneer. Niki was an exceptional entrepreneur whose courage and fighting spirit inspired millions. While we are devastated at his untimely passing, his spirit and vision will live on in Laudamotion, which proudly carries his name and his entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a sad day for Formula 1 and Laudamotion. Niki’s spirit and his legacy will live on forever. Niki and his family are all in our thoughts and prayers today. May he rest in peace.