Slashing prices hit Ryanair hard

Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair has suffered a worse than expected loss for the third quarter to 31 December.

The low-cost airline has posted a loss of €35m (£28.7m), against analysts estimates of €32m. The results are a far cry from the €18.1m of profit seen a year earlier.

But beyond the headline figure there was other good news in Ryanair's results.
Traffic rose by six per cent to 18.3m over the period, with non-ticket revenue climbing 13 per cent as customers shelled out for priority booking.
In the face of fierce competition, Ryanair has cut fares on close to 1,000 routes.
"We responded to this weaker pricing environment last September with seat promotions and lower fares which stimulated traffic across all markets," Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Average Ryanair fares have fallen by nine per cent to €48. The airline had maintained its profit outlook for fiscal 2014, with guidance between €520m and €550m.
Markets have responded kindly to the results, with Ryanair shares up six per cent this morning.