Ryanair says summer fares will be ‘flat to modestly ahead’

No-frills carrier Ryanair has predicted its peak summer fares this year will be “flat to modestly ahead of last summer” as it reported profits have risen by 34%.

It said profit after tax grew by 34% to €1.92 billion in the year to March 31, 2024, as passenger numbers rose 9% to 184 million passengers. Total FY24 revenue rose 25% to €13.44 billion.

Revenue per passenger was up 15%, with the average fare rising 21% to €49.80, thanks to a record H1 and strong Easter traffic in late March.

Ancillary sales increased 12% to €4.3 billion – about €23.40 per passenger.

Group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “The group’s industry-leading cost base and increased revenues helped to offset a significantly higher fuel bill.”

Looking ahead, he said: “With EU short-haul capacity constrained, summer ‘24 demand is positive, with bookings trending ahead of last year.

“Recent pricing is softer than we expected, with Q1 requiring more price stimulation than last year, particularly as half of Easter moved into March and out of April.

“While visibility is limited, and the outcome will be heavily dependent on close-in peak summer ‘24 pricing, we remain cautiously optimistic that peak summer ‘24 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer.

“The final outcome for FY25 will be heavily dependent upon avoiding adverse events during FY25, such as wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, extensive ATC disruptions or further Boeing delivery delays.”

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Ryanair expects to grow FY25 traffic by 8% to 200 million passengers, subject to Boeing deliveries returning to contracted levels before year-end.

The results statement noted Ryanair had a fleet of 146 B737 Gamechangers at year-end and it hopes to increase this to 158 by the end of July, which is 23 short of its contracted Boeing deliveries.

“We continue to work closely with Boeing CEO (Dave Calhoun), CFO (Brian West) and the new Seattle management team to improve quality and accelerate B737 aircraft deliveries,” said O’Leary.

“There remains a risk that Boeing deliveries could slip further.

“Travel demand in Europe is strong for summer ‘24 and, despite Boeing delivery delays, we will operate our largest ever summer schedule with over 200 new routes and five new bases.”

Former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Amber Rudd will join the board as a non-executive director from July 1.

She held senior cabinet positions including home secretary and secretary of state for energy and climate change.

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