Ryanair profit plunges after ash cloud crisis
RYANAIR’S first-quarter profit has plunged by 24 per cent because of the volcanic ash cloud which grounded planes across Europe earlier in the year.
The airline said the Icelandic ash cloud had caused it to scrap almost 10,000 flights at a cost of €50m.
As a result its pre-tax profit was €93.7m (£80m) for three months until the end of June.
Meanwhile Fuel costs rose by 34 per cent to €287m due to higher oil prices.
However, Ryanair said it was on course to meet profit forecasts for the year.
It expects to see profits rise by between 10-15 per cent to more than €350m once the impact of the flight cancellations is stripped out.
Excluding the ash cloud chaos the airline saw passenger numbers increase of one per cent on the previous year.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, said: “Our profits were adversely impacted by the unnecessary closures of European airspace for 18 days in April and May.
“Despite these volcanic ash disruptions Ryanair continues to increase traffic, yields, and profits, while most of our competitors are cutting capacity and reporting losses.”