Tag Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair signs agreement with Ver.Di (German) cabin crew union

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DPT (msn 35550) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 938343.

Ryanair on November 8 confirmed that it has signed a Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) framework and Social Plan with Ver.di, the German cabin crew union, to cover all of Ryanair’s German based cabin crew.

This agreement (which is now subject to a cabin crew ballot) confirms the application of German labor law to Ryanair’s cabin crew and delivers pay increases and other benefits for all Ryanair German based cabin crew over the next two years.

Ryanair also confirmed that its Italian cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly (88%) in favor of the CLA signed recently between Ryanair and the 3 main cabin crew unions FIT CISL, ANPAC, and ANPAV. This CLA, which delivers pay and benefit improvements, will now apply to all of Ryanair’s cabin crew in Italy for the next 3 years.

Over the past week, Ryanair has also signed new recognition agreements with cabin crew unions in Greece (RACU) and Sweden (UNIONEN).

Ryanair will now work with these unions on long term CLAs to cover cabin crew in Greece and Sweden.

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DPT (msn 35550) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 938343.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

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Ryanair reports its first half profit dropped 7%

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIZ (msn 44709) (Vitoria - The Basque Connection) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 943423.

Ryanair on October 22 reported a 7% fall in H1 profits to €1.20 billion (excluding Laudamotion losses).  Average fares declined 3% due to excess capacity in Europe, an earlier Easter in Q1, repeated ATC strikes/staff shortages which caused a spike in cancellations of higher fare, weekend flights.  Higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs have offset strong ancillary revenue growth.

H1 Results (IFRS)* Sep 30, 2017 Sep 30, 2018 % Change
Guests 72.1m 76.6m +6%
Revenue €4.43bn €4.79bn +8%
PAT €1.29bn €1.20bn -7%
Net Margin 29% 25% -4pts

* excl. €45m exceptional H1 FY19 Laudamotion loss

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“As recently guided, H1 average fares fell by 3%.  While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 27%, these were offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs. Our traffic, which was repeatedly impacted by the worst summer of ATC disruptions on record, grew 6% at an unchanged 96% load factor.

H1 highlights include:

– Traffic grew 6% to 76.6m (LF 96%)

– Fare fell 3% to under €46

– Ancillary revenue rose 27% to €1.3bn

– Agreements signed with Irish, UK, Italian, Portuguese (pilots) & German (cabin crew) unions

– Laudamotion holding increased to 75%

– 23 new B737s delivered

– €540m returned to shareholders via buybacks

New Routes and Growth:

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We took delivery of 23 new Boeing 737-800s in H1 (bringing the fleet to 450) and launched over 100 new S.18 routes.  We have trimmed winter capacity by 1% (including base closures in Eindhoven and Bremen) in response to weaker fares and higher oil prices. We expect FY19 traffic will grow to 141m (incl. 3m Laudamotion).  As we look beyond this winter, we have announced new S.19 bases in Bordeaux, Marseille, London Southend and increased capacity in Luton.  We plan to operate over 100 new routes in S.19.

With spot fuel reaching $85bbl, rising interest rates and the stronger US dollar, airline margins are under pressure and it is inevitable that more of the weaker, unhedged, European airlines will fold this winter.  In recent weeks Skyworks (Switz.), VLM (Bel.), Small Planet & Azur Air (Ger.), Cobalt (Cyprus) and Primera Air (Stansted & Scandinavia) collapsed.  At the same time, many larger airlines are closing bases and cutting routes to minimise winter losses.  We expect more failures this winter and we cannot rule out further capacity cuts or base closures in Ryanair if oil prices rise or air fares fall further. Over the medium term, this consolidation will create growth opportunities for Ryanair’s lowest fare/lowest cost model.

Laudamotion:

In August, we increased our holding in Laudamotion to 75%.  Despite a very difficult first summer, Laudamotion will carry almost 3m guests this year but will lose approximately €150m in start-up Year 1 exceptional costs.  We are working closely with the Laudamotion team who recently launched their S.19 schedule which will see them grow their fleet to 23 aircraft (including 19 A320’s).  Laudamotion have reached agreement to return 9 expensive lease aircraft to Lufthansa this winter and will replace those with lower cost, longer term, operating lease aircraft, which are readily available at competitive terms as more Airbus operators fail.  We are assisting them to improve cost control, fuel hedging and fleet management which will deliver significantly higher revenues and much lower costs next year as the airline moves towards break-even in its 2nd year of operation.

Ancillaries:

Our investment in Labs continues to deliver strong ancillary revenue growth.  In H1 ancillaries increased by 27% to €1.3bn and drove an 8% increase in total revenue to €4.8bn.  Key drivers of this growth were improved conversion of priority boarding and reserved seating.  Membership of “MyRyanair” has increased to 50m members and the Ryanair digital platform now welcomes over 1bn visits p.a.  A major upgrade of our digital platform is underway (website, app & 3rd party ancillary product plug-in) which will facilitate improved personalisation and capacity for traffic growth to 200m p.a. as we rollout relevant ancillary products which fit to each individual customer’s profile and buying patterns.

Cost Leadership:

No other EU airline can match, or come close to, Ryanair’s lowest unit costs and this cost gap is widening.  Airports across Europe are incentivising Ryanair’s reliable traffic growth. As others fail, these incentives are improving. Thanks to our balance sheet strength, our fuel is better hedged than most European competitors with 90% of our 12 month needs (to end Sept. 2019) hedged at approx. $68bbl, well below current spot prices of close to $85bbl.  FY19 is a year of investment in our people, our systems and our business as we prepare to grow to 200m guests p.a. In H1 ex-fuel unit costs increased by 7%. This includes 20% pay increases for pilots, investment in engineering headcount, pilot/cabin crew training costs and, regrettably, elevated EU261 costs arising from repeated ATC strikes/disruptions. Next spring, we take delivery of our first B737-MAX-200 “gamechanger” aircraft.  These planes have 4% more seats, yet are 16% more fuel efficient, have 40% lower noise emissions, are hedged at an average €/$ rate of $1.24 (for 210 aircraft out to FY24) and they will drive continuous unit cost reductions over the next 6 years.

ATC Strikes/Staff Shortages:

Repeated ATC strikes/staff shortages means that 2018 will be the worst year on record for European ATC disruptions. These have caused widespread damage to airline punctuality and schedules.  Ryanair’s H1 on-time fell to 75% from 86% (prior year), with all of this 11% decline due to ATC strikes and ATC staff shortages.  We’ve invested heavily to ensure that everything we control is delivering on-time departures.  We have changed our handling provider at Stansted to ensure that we receive dedicated passenger and aircraft handling, and eliminate the short staffing we suffered at times in Stansted this summer. Ryanair and other airlines have initiated legal action against the French Government to keep Europe’s skies open during French ATC disruptions.  A4E (Airlines for Europe) and Ryanair are also campaigning for the European Commission to take control of the EU air space so that overflights are not disrupted during national ATC strikes.  This does not alter or constrain any individual’s “right to strike” but tries to confine the impact of these ATC strikes to the actual country where the strike occurs.  We continue to call for urgent action from the EC to reduce ATC disruptions in S.19.

Union Progress:

Since Ryanair agreed to recognise unions in December 2017, we’ve made good progress with our union negotiations in major markets including agreements with pilot and cabin crew unions in Ireland, Italy, the UK, Germany (cabin crew) and last week an agreement with our Portuguese pilots.  We continue to engage with unions in our other major markets.  Progress has been slower in other markets such as Spain & Portugal (cabin crew) and Germany (pilots) where competitor employees have interfered to delay agreements with our people and their unions.  While we suffered a small number (just 8 days) of limited strikes this summer, we worked well to minimise disruptions to our customers by operating over 90% of our schedules on each of these days, thanks in large measure to the efforts of the majority of pilots and cabin crew who did not support these disruptions and worked normally.  Ryanair has shown over the past 10 months that we can, and will, work with unions to reach fair and reasonable agreements for our people while retaining our competitiveness and efficiency.  We can also manage strikes, although we do our utmost to avoid them. We will continue to negotiate and conclude union agreements over this winter.  While we hope to finalise more union agreements in the coming months, we cannot rule out occasional industrial action, but we expect their impact to be very limited.

Brexit:

The risk of a hard (“no-deal”) Brexit in March 2019 is rising.  While we hope that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 to December 2020 will be implemented (and extended), we remain concerned that the time to complete such an agreement is shortening.  In the event of a hard Brexit our UK shareholders will be treated as non-EU.  In such an event the Board will restrict the voting rights of all non-EU shareholders (and confine them to selling shares only to EU nationals) to ensure that Ryanair remains majority owned and controlled by EU shareholders.  We have applied for a UK AOC to protect our 3 domestic UK routes and are on track to receive it before the end of 2018.

Guidance (excluding Laudamotion):

As updated on 1 October, FY19 PAT is guided in a range of €1.10bn to €1.20bn (excl. Laudamotion).  Following a 3% reduction in H1 fares, we expect fares to fall by c.2% in H2 due to weaker than expected forward fares in Q3 (particularly the October school mid-term and Christmas) and the absence of Easter in Q4.  A 1% reduction in winter capacity means that FY19 traffic will grow by 6% to 138m (141m incl. Laudamotion).  Our fuel bill will be approx. €460m higher than last year and “Other Costs” will be negatively impacted by higher EU261 costs.  Ancillaries continue to perform strongly although (as previously highlighted) the H2 figures will be adversely impacted by timing differences on the recognition of certain fees arising from the adoption of IFRS 15 (positive impact in H1).  This guidance excludes (exceptional) start-up losses in Laudamotion of approx. €150m (which are and will be consolidated in the Ryanair Group full year financial results).

This full year guidance remains heavily dependent on air fares not declining further (they remain soft this winter due to excess capacity in Europe), the impact of significantly higher oil prices on our unhedged exposures, the absence of unforeseen security events, ATC and other strikes and the impact of negative Brexit developments. We cannot rule out further base closures or capacity cuts this winter if oil prices rise or air fares fall further. Winter trading may be positively impacted by the rate and timing of other airline failures which is already creating a ready supply of well trained pilots and cabin crew for S.19 growth.”

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIZ (msn 44709) (Vitoria – The Basque Connection) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 943423.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

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Ryanair signs agreement with Portuguese Pilot Union SPAC – BALPA (UK) sign seniority and base transfer agreements, adds 2 new routes from Cardiff

Ryanair on October 19 announced that it has signed an agreement with the Portuguese pilot union SPAC, which will provide for seniority and base transfer agreements, to cover all of Ryanair’s directly employed pilots in Portugal. Negotiations with SPAC on a full CLA under Portuguese Law with local contracts will now commence before the end of October.

Ryanair also this week signed similar agreements with BALPA in the UK and ANPAC in Italy covering all of Ryanair’s directly employed UK and Italian Pilots. Following negotiations in Madrid this week,  Ryanair also expects to sign a recognition agreement with Spanish pilot union SEPLA shortly, which will pave the way for rapid negotiations on a CLA, and under Spanish law.

Ryanair’s Chief People Officer, Eddie Wilson said:

“These signed agreements with our pilot unions in Portugal, the UK, Italy  and shortly in Spain, demonstrate the considerable progress we’re making in concluding union agreements with our people in our major EU markets.

The recent wave of airline failures in Europe including Primera Air, Cobalt, Air Azur, and Small Planet (GER), as well as base closures/cuts announced by many of Europe’s major airlines in response to higher oil prices and lower air fares, have given a significant stimulus to these union negotiations over recent weeks. Ryanair’s pilots and cabin crew recognise that they enjoy better pay, better rosters, and significantly better job security than their counterparts at many other EU airlines, and we for our part, are recognising and working with unions to conclude agreements which address the major issues of concern to our pilots and cabin crew in all our major EU markets.

I expect that these agreements in Spain, and Portugal in particular, will encourage the cabin crew unions in both those countries to remove competitor airline employees (who have been blocking progress) and to quickly conclude cabin crew agreements in those countries, as that’s what our Portuguese and Spanish cabin crew are now demanding.”

In other news, Ryanair launched its Cardiff Summer 2019 schedule with 2 new routes to Barcelona and Malta and 4 routes in total, as it doubles its Cardiff traffic.

Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair cuts its FY19 guidance by 12% due to higher oil prices, higher EU261 costs, and weaker fares due to recent strikes, will close 3 bases

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Ryanair today, October 1, lowered its full year profit guidance (excluding Laudamotion) from a current range of €1.25bn – €1.35bn, to a new range of €1.10bn – €1.20bn due to:

– Lower traffic and weaker close in fares in September, caused by 2 days of coordinated
pilot/cabin crew strikes in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Portugal;

– Lower Q3 fares as forward bookings (particularly for the Oct school mid-terms and
Christmas) and customer confidence are affected by fear of further strikes;

– Higher EU261 care and re-accommodation costs arising from these recent strikes; and

– Higher prices ($82pbl) for our unhedged oil (10%).

Ryanair noted that Q2 and Q3 traffic and fares will be somewhat lower than expected largely as a result of these 2 recent –5 country– strikes, which are being incited by competitor employees, despite the fact that Ryanair has agreed to meet union demands for local contracts, local law, and a 5 week arbitration with pilots in Germany when the VC Union sought a prolonged 5 month arbitration.

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Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“While we successfully managed 5 strikes by 25% of our Irish pilots this summer, 2 recent coordinated strikes by cabin crew and pilots across 5 EU countries has affected passenger numbers (through flight cancellations), close in bookings and yields (as we re-accommodate disrupted passengers), and forward air fares into Q3. While we regret these disruptions, we have on both strike days operated over 90% of our schedule. However, customer confidence, forward bookings and Q3 fares has been affected, most notably over the Oct school mid-terms and Christmas, in those 5 countries where unnecessary strikes have been repeated.

These strikes have also added to our EU261 costs while, at the same time, our unhedged fuel costs have jumped as oil prices rise to $82pbl which affects 10% of volumes, and all of Laudamotion’s fuel bill.

Like a number of other EU airlines, we have decided to trim our winter 2018 capacity (by 1%) in response to this lower fare, higher oil and higher EU261 cost environment. We are today implementing the following modest winter cuts (all from Monday, November 5, 2018.)

– Our 4 aircraft Eindhoven base will close, but most routes to/from Eindhoven will continue on overseas based aircraft.

– Our 2 aircraft Bremen base will close with most routes continuing on non-German aircraft.

– Our 5 aircraft Niederrhein base will be cut to 3 aircraft with most routes continuing on the remaining 3 aircraft.

All affected customers have been contacted by email/SMS this morning and will be
re-accommodated on other flights or refunded as they so wish. We will also now consult with our pilots and cabin crew at these 3 bases to minimise job losses.  We expect to offer our pilots vacancies at other Ryanair bases but, as we have a large surplus of winter cabin crew, we will explore unpaid leave and other options to minimise cabin crew job losses.

Revised Outlook (excl. Laudamotion):

We now guide FY19 PAT in a new range of €1.10bn to €1.20bn (previously €1.25bn to €1.35bn).  Q2 fares are down approx. 3% (previously guided +1%) due to the weakness caused to close-in bookings and fares mainly as a result of these 2 (5 country) co-ordinated strikes in Sept. We had until last week expected stronger Q3 fares to recover softer Q2 yields but over the past week Q3 fares, and customer confidence, have been affected by worries about possible strikes. We are now guiding H2 fares down 2% (previously flat).  Our fuel bill will be approx. €460m higher (previously €430m) than last year and “Other Costs” will be negatively impacted by higher EU261 care and re-accommodation costs. Our slower traffic growth in H2 will cut FY19 traffic to 138m (previously 139m excluding Laudamotion).

Since Ryanair agreed to recognise unions in Dec. 2017, we have made substantial progress with our union negotiations in major markets including Ireland, the UK, and more recently Italy, where we have signed multiyear CLA’s with our pilots and cabin crew. Regrettably such progress has been impeded in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, and Belgium where we’ve experienced interference in negotiations with our people and their unions, even when we offer them what they ask for (i.e. local contracts), in writing. When we have successfully negotiated agreements with unions in Ireland, the UK and Italy, and when we have offered local contracts and improved T&C’s to our people in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Portugal and Spain, it is clear that these disruptions are unnecessary, and ill-judged at a time when other airlines are also cutting winter capacity.

Ryanair cannot rule out further disruptions in Q3, which may require full year guidance to be lowered further and may necessitate further trimming of loss making winter capacity. Shareholders should note that the above guidance excludes start up (exceptional) losses in Laudamotion of approx. €150m (which will be consolidated into the Ryanair Group FY19, H1 and FY financial results)”.

Photos: Ryanair.

Ryanair to open two new French bases at Bordeaux and Marseille

Ryanair has announced significant expansion in France, launching two new bases at Bordeaux and Marseille as part of its Summer 2019 schedule, with 2 new based aircraft for each airport (a total investment of $400m) and 27 new routes (connecting 12 countries).

Ryanair’s new Bordeaux base will deliver:

2 based aircraft ($200m investment)

16 new routes: Bari (2 wk), Cologne Bonn (3), Copenhagen (3), Dublin (2), Fez (2), Krakow (2), Manchester (2), Marrakesh (2), Marseille (daily), Mykonos (1), Nantes (4), Naples (2), Ouarzazate (2), Tangier (2),Valencia (2) & Venice Treviso (3)

24 routes for summer 2019

70 weekly flights

Ryanair’s new Marseille base will deliver:

2 based aircraft ($200m investment)

11 new routes: Agadir (2 wk), Alicante (2), Bologna (3), Bordeaux (daily), Bucharest (2), Budapest (2), Manchester (2), Naples (2), Ouarzazate (2) Prague (2) & Warsaw (2)

40 routes for summer 2019

150 weekly flights

 

Ryanair launches major pilot training program in Cork

Ryanair has announced a major new training partnership with Cork-based international flight school, Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA), to deliver a Ryanair/AFTA Mentored Pilot Program. An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, officially launched the partnership in Cork this morning, which will ensure Ryanair continues to attract highly trained professional pilots to support its continued growth across Europe, and which will create 50 new jobs.

This new 16-month intensive training program gives trainee pilots a structured path to achieve their pilot licence and reach a standard where they are ready to join the Ryanair Boeing 737 type-rating programme. Trainee pilots on the programme will be trained by AFTA instructors using Ryanair procedures as they take their first steps towards becoming Ryanair pilots and over the next 5 years, up to 450 new pilots from across Europe will be recruited and trained by AFTA in Cork, underlining AFTA’s global position in the pilot training market.

Ryanair also launched its biggest ever Cork summer schedule for 2019, with 4 new routes to Budapest, London Luton, Malta and Poznan, more flights to Malaga, and 16 routes in total.

Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair announces its largest London summer schedule for 2019

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DCL (msn 33806) (Dreamliner colors) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 943514.

Ryanair has announced its biggest ever London Summer 2019 schedule, with 23 new routes (over 180 in total), which will deliver 26 million yearly passengers customers through Ryanair’s four London airports – Stansted, Luton, Southend and Gatwick.

Ryanair’s London S19 schedule will deliver:

3 new aircraft based at Southend

2 more aircraft at Luton (6 in total)

23 new routes including:

3  at  Stansted:   Kiev, Lviv and Nantes

6  at  Luton:       Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Bologna, Cork, Malaga

14 at Southend: Alicante, Bilbao, Brest, Copenhagen, Cluj, Corfu, Dublin, Faro, Kosice, Malaga, Milan, Palma, Reus and Venice

Over 180 routes in total

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In other news, last week Ryanair submitted a complaint to the European Commission over discrimination by UK airline controlled NATS at Stansted, who refuse to explain why 52% of all London ATC delays in Q1 were at Stansted while there was zero such delays at Heathrow and just 10% at Gatwick where (NATS’ shareholders) BA and Easyjet are the main airlines.

“We call on the UK Government and EU to take prompt action against NATS who continue to deliver an atrocious service to airlines despite having amongst the highest ATC fees in the EU, and who are blatantly protecting Heathrow at the expense of all other London airports, especially Stansted. We expect the EU to act quickly to ensure a fairer allocation of NATS resources (and delays) to all 5 London airports, instead of protecting Heathrow.”

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

 “Ryanair is pleased to launch our biggest ever London S 2019 schedule with over 180 routes from our 4 London airports, including 1 new base at Southend and 23 new routes to exciting destinations such as Barcelona, Bilbao,Copenhagenand Kiev. Our S2019 schedule will deliver 26m customers p.a. through Stansted, Luton, Southend and Gatwick, all at the lowest fares, as we continue to grow London traffic, tourism and jobs.   

We remain concerned at the increasing risk of a hard (no-deal) Brexit in March 2019.  While we hope that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 will be agreed, recent events in the UK have added uncertainty, and we believe that the risk of a hard Brexit (which could lead to flights being grounded for a period of days or weeks) is being underestimated.

In other news, the company rejected false claims made by Belgian union CNE that strike action by its small minority of cabin crew on September 28 would cause “travel chaos”.

Ryanair pointed to its experience during previous strikes which included five days of strikes by less than 25% of its Irish pilots this summer, and on each of those days, Ryanair completed 280 of its 300 flights to/from Ireland, because over 75% of its Irish pilots continued to work normally.  In total yesterday Ryanair operated over 2,200 flights and carried over 380,000 customers with no “chaos”.

Yesterday in Germany, despite a strike by pilots and cabin crew, over 70% of Ryanair’s German based pilots and cabin crew reported for work and Ryanair completed over 250 of its daily schedule of 400 flights, because 150 flights had been pre-cancelled on Tuesday September 11 with the small group of affected passengers being reaccommodated and/or refunded.

Ryanair expects that even if there is another limited cabin crew strike on 28th September, the vast majority of its cabin crew across Europe will work as normal.  It also expects a significant majority of its cabin crew in Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal will also work normally, as they have during previous strikes, and accordingly there will not be any “travel chaos” or “widespread disruptions”.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

Repeated false claims made by these unions about “travel chaos” have proven to be unfounded.  While we regret the limited strike actions that have taken place this summer, in all cases we have judiciously pre-cancelled a small number of our 2,500 daily flights in order to minimise customer disruption and inconvenience.

We object to these lurid and inaccurate press headlines which wrongly refer to “travel chaos”, despite the fact that during the seven days of partial strikes by a small minority of our pilots and cabin crew this summer, there has been very little disruption and absolutely no “chaos”. 

 If there is a further unsuccessful cabin crew strike on the 28th Sept next then, as we demonstrated in Germany yesterday, Ryanair will pre-advise customers of a small number of flight cancellations, and the overwhelming majority of Ryanair’s flights and services that day will operate as normal, and we will carry the overwhelming majority of the 400,000 passengers who will be scheduled to fly with us that day.”

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Ryanair): Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DCL (msn 33806) (Dreamliner colors) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 943514.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

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