Pent-up Demand Gives Ryanair a Profit Boost

Ryanair (FR) has posted record profits after a busy Q3 and is continuing its expansion plans for the forthcoming year.



January 30, 2023

DALLAS - Europe's largest low-cost carrier (LCC), Ryanair (FR), has posted its biggest after-tax profit of over €211m (US$230m) for the third quarter of the 2022 financial year (October to December). The airline said this was owing to 'strong pent-up travel demand' during the October half-term, Christmas and new year holiday period, giving an average load factor of 93%.

It now expects to post a full-year net profit of €1.325-1.425bn. However, it expects its fourth quarter to be loss-making due to the late Easter 2023 holiday.

The airline has welcomed 84 of the Boeing 737-8200 for which it was the launch customer. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways.

Agressive Expansion

FR has been one of the most aggressive airlines, ramping up capacity after the Covid pandemic. Its fleet has grown to 523 aircraft, with 84 Boeing 737-8200 "Gamechangers" delivered by December 31, 2022.

Speaking off the airline's fleet, CEO Michael O'Leary said, "Our investment in new fuel-efficient, greener, B737 aircraft continued in Q3 with our Gamechanger fleet (4% more seats with 16% less fuel) increasing by 11 to 84 aircraft. In Q3 we began to retrofit scimitar winglets on our 409 B737-800NG owned fleet (a US$200m+ investment) which will further reduce fuel burn by 1.5%."

For the 2024 financial year, the Dublin-based airline announced 230 new routes, bringing its total to 2,450. In the official statement, FR said its strongest market gains were seen in Italy, Poland, Ireland and Spain.

Ryanair (EI-HGL) Boeing 737-8200. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways.

Strong Position

However, costs for Q3 were driven up to €2.15bn (US$2.35bn), blamed on increasing fuel costs, up by 26%. For the first half of the 2023/2024 financial year, FR has improved its fuel hedging giving the airline a 'strong hedge position' which will help 'insulate Ryanair from spikes in fuel prices and gives our Group airlines a significant cost advantage over our EU competitors.'

O'Leary added that Ryanair continues investing "to accelerate the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)." He said that by switching to Ryanair from European legacy carriers, passengers "can reduce their emissions by up to 50% per flight." Working with various sustainability partners, FR is on track to meet its "ambitious targets to become net carbon zero by 2050."

Featured Image: Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-DPN). Photo: Julian Schöpfer/Airways.

Check out our January 2016 issue when Andreas Spaeth interviewed the controversial boss of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary.