Ryanair profits tumble while growth plans also hit by further MAX delays

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Ryanair has reported a 21% year-on-year drop in post-tax profit at €243 million (US$270.36 million) for the three-month period up to June 30. While the carrier is not adjusting its end-of-year profit forecast of between €750 million and €950 million (US$832 million and US$1054 million), fares have fallen by 6% when compared to the same period last year and is a trend Ryanair believes will be ongoing for the rest of the summer, a period when the carrier is usually most profitable.

The drop in fare prices has been put down to a combination of reduced pre-Brexit spending by UK residents and market competition, especially in Germany. “We are cautious on pricing into the winter,” Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told analysts in a conference call, according to Reuters news agency. “Brexit and the risk of a hard Brexit has materially increased with the new government. O’Leary admitted to having concerns over further delays in the return to service of the 737MAX which remains grounded.

The low-cost carrier has halved anticipated passenger growth for the year to five million on the grounds that at best it will have only 30 of an anticipated 58 operational 737 MAXs next summer. Despite Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg stating last Wednesday that he was confident the 737 MAX would be back in the air by October, O’Leary commented that the number of these jets in service with Ryanair “could move to 10 and it could move to zero if Boeing don’t get their shit together pretty quickly with the regulator.” Despite these problems, O’Leary remains bullish that Ryanair passengers will have no problems flying onboard the troubled aircraft.

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