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Ryanair profit warning as strikes take toll

By John-Paul Ford Rojas, business reporter
Ryanair has cut its full-year profit guidance by as much as 12% - blaming the impact of strikes and oil prices on its bottom line.
Shares fell 10% on the warning, before closing down 12%. Rival easyJet slid by 7% and British Airways owner International Airlines Group dipped 2%.Ryanair said it expected profits in a range of €1.1-€1.2bn (€980m-€1.1bn), down from previous guidance of €1.25bn-€1.35bn (€.1.1bn-€1.2bn), for the year to the end of March.It warned it could not rule out further downgrades to come and pointed to weaker traffic and lower fares in September caused by two days of coordinated pilot and cabin crew strikes in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.Ryanair also said that fares in the current period were lower with forward bookings for half-term and Christmas affected by customer worries about the prospect of further industrial action.Meanwhile, the strike had led to higher costs to re-accommodate passengers - while at the same time the carrier has faced rising fuel costs with oil climbing to a near four-year high at more than $80 a barrel.Ryanair said that in response it was trimming its winter flights capacity by 1% and shutting small bases at Eindhoven, Bremen while scaling back its operation at Niederrhein. It said it would consult with pilots and cabin crew to minimise job losses.
Ryanair profit warning as strikes take toll

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The airline blames "competitor employees" for inciting strikes and says they have come despite its agreement to meet a number of union demands.
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