Monday 11 December 2017

Ryanair raised its long-term forecast for passenger numbers by 10pc

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Ryanair has raised its long-term forecast for passenger numbers by 10pc, and now expects to carry 200 million people a year by 2024.

By the end of 2016, for the first time, Ryanair will operate to a majority of primary (105) rather than secondary (95) airports, the company said this morning.

It is muscling its way into main airports in the likes of Frankfurt and Milan and Brussels as competitors close bases and routes, the airline said.

Ryanair is already Europe’s reckons biggest, and reckons it will secure a market share of more than 20pc in Europe's short-haul market as rivals struggle.

Ryanair, reported a 7pc increase in first half profits to €1,168m published this morning, on the back of 12pc traffic growth to 65m customers.

Pressure in the sector is now intense, average fares fell 10pc to €50 in the first half, and three weeks ago Ryanair cut its profit forecast for the year by 5 percent due to sterling weakness and competition.

The company still plans to return €550 million to shareholders by February in a share buyback, it said today.

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