Ryanair announces a profit of 170 million euros despite several strikes across Europe
Ryanair has published its financial report for the first quarter of 2022 and, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, they are making a profit. Despite all the adversities of this year, the war and several strikes across Europe, the airlines made a net profit of 170 million euros.
This is a marked improvement from the first quarter of last year, when the company recorded a net loss of 273 million euros. Overall turnover increased by 602%, from just 0.37 billion euros last year to 2.6 billion euros this year. And even though traffic was actually 9% higher than pre-covid, going from just 8.1 million in 2021 to 45.5 million in 2022, the net profit is still 243 million euros lower than that of 2019.
The airline attributes the success to falling airfare prices, which encouraged travelers to book with Ryanair. Another factor that CEO Michael O’Leary says has contributed to the recovery is the decision to keep most employees but lower their salaries. This has caused some controversy lately, as pilots in Belgium and France have gone on strike citing the minimum wage. O’Leary says, however, that “fast-track pay restoration agreements have been reached with unions representing over 80% of our pilots and thereabouts. 70% of our cabin crew across Europe”.
The airline also revealed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had a big impact on the Easter season “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February damaged Easter bookings and fares. Thus, average rates were down 4% compared to the same pre-Covid quarter”.
At the same time, Ryanair underlined its commitment to the environment by saying that this summer they “will operate 73 new B737 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft, offering 4% more seats while consuming 16% less fuel and reducing noise emissions by up to 40% Passengers traveling across Europe who switch to Ryanair (from the old high-fare airlines) can reduce their environmental footprint by up to 50% per flight.
In addition, they increase their consumption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). A third of all flights departing from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are fueled with a 40% SAF blend, while the airline aims to fuel 12.5% of its flights using SAF and reduce its CO₂ per person/km from 10% to 60 grams by 2030.
Although we remain hopeful that the high rate of vaccinations in Europe will allow the airline and tourism industry to fully recover and finally put Covid behind us, we cannot ignore the risk of new Covid variants in the fall of 2022.
Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair
Finally, O’Leary expressed caution for the rest of the year, pointing out how the Omicron variant and the war showed just how fragile the industry is. Therefore, they are unable to give a forecast for the remainder of the year, as “the strength of any recovery will depend heavily on the absence of adverse or unexpected developments.”