RYANAIR blamed its €10m (£8.5m) quarterly loss yesterday on strikes, fuel costs and disruption caused by the weather yesterday, and pledged to take its fight against flight compensation rules to the European courts.
The budget airline said it still expects to make a net profit for the year to March towards the top of its €380m (£325m) to €400m target.
Ryanair said it grew total revenue by 22 per cent to €746m during the quarter benefiting from a six per cent increase in passenger numbers to 17m and a 13 per cent rise in revenue per passenger.
The company said it had been on track to break even during the quarter before the snow knocked out many services for close to a week.
Ryanair did not reveal how much damage the snow has done to its bottom line, but said it will contest European rules on compensation in the courts.
The Irish carrier has previously called the rules requiring airlines to provide food and accommodation for passengers waiting for delayed flights as “absurd and discriminatory”.
The firm’s fuel bill soared 37 per cent to €283.7m as the price of oil continued to climb, though it has insulated itself against further rises by hedging 90 per cent of its fuel needs for 2011 at $750 per tonne.
“Ourselves and easyJet are the only two carriers of any size and shape growing this year and next year. The flag carriers have stopped growing and are continuing to retreat,” said finance director Howard Millar.