Sunday 25 March 2018

Ryanair cutting fares to keep post-Brexit Brits flying

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary

Sarah Young in London

Ryanair is "very cautious" on its outlook for the winter as uncertainty from Brexit and security concerns from travellers persist, forcing the carrier to cut fares.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said Ryanair had stimulated travel demand by reducing summer prices by 9pc after Britain's June vote to leave the EU, but was not sure what would happen from October onwards, when Europeans take fewer holidays.

That made him "very cautious" on the airline's forecast for profit to the year ended March 2017 to climb 13pc to between €1.38bn and €1.43bn.

"That's the impact of Brexit, we're cutting fares much more steeply than in the past," he told a news conference in London. A weaker pound risks deterring British travel to euro countries.

"If the fares in the second half of the year fall by more than 10pc or 12pc then we'll have to revisit full-year guidance."

Mr O'Leary also provided an update on plans to scale back capacity growth in Britain yesterday.

He saw growth of 6pc in the 2017-18 financial year, from 15pc in the 12 months to March, he said.

Growth would have been between 10pc and 15pc had Britain not voted for Brexit, he said. Germany's Lufthansa and Aer Lingus owner IAG have already trimmed outlooks. (Reuters)

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