Ryanair profits hit by volcanic cloud disruption
Irish budget airline Ryanair has today revealed a fall in first quarter net profits – due to the disruption of the volcanic ash cloud.
The airline said net profits were down 24% to €93.7 million (£80 million), due to nearly 10,000 flights having to be cancelled, which cost the airline €50 million.
Ash from the volcano, located under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier about 100 miles east of the capital Reykjavik, erupted in the early hours of 14 April.
It forced the closure of Europe’s airspace for 18 days in April and May.
However, the airline said it was on track to meet profit forecasts for the year and is anticipating profits to grow by between 10-15% once the impact of the flight cancellations is stripped out.
Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “Despite these volcanic ash disruptions Ryanair continues to increase traffic, yields, and profits, while most of our competitors are cutting capacity and reporting losses.”
The results come just a week after Mr O’Leary had to apologise to easyJet founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
The Irish airline ran adverts depicting Stelios as Pinocchio, suggesting he was lying about easyJet’s punctuality.
Ryanair paid £50,100 to settle a libel action.