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Ryanair Reports Record Profits - Smashes Pre-Pandemic Levels

By Belal Awad · July 25, 2023

Budget Carrier Ryanair Flying High  Wikimedia Commons

Ryanair, Europe’s leading low-cost carrier, has reported record profits of €663 million ($737 million) for the three months ending in June, surpassing its pre-pandemic earnings. This comes in the wake of its rival, Easyjet, announcing record quarterly profits of $263 million last week. Despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, consumers are still spending on travel, giving a boost to budget carriers like Ryanair.

Rising fuel costs and reduced passenger capacity on aircraft have pushed air fares higher for the industry.

Global aviation and travel analyst Sally Gethin told BBC, “There’s fewer seats. There’s less capacity for passengers on board aircraft than there was prior to the pandemic. That is what is pushing up fares. But also across the board, airlines are facing higher operational costs and, in some cases, reduced staff as well.”

According to Gethin, Ryanair’s strategic approach has been a key factor in its ability to weather the challenges faced by the airline industry. She said the company “hedged its fuel cost of oil per barrel. And it actually has trimmed everything… It’s actually getting a better ancillary revenue cost per passenger of over €23, which is is very high, and shows it has a strong core financial operating base.”

Ryanair’s position as a low-cost carrier makes it an attractive option for travelers looking to take a break amid budget constraints. Gethin raised a few red flags, however, cautioning that the travel surge will likely slow in coming months as we head to fall and winter.

Light Wave commentary

The aviation industry’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic’s devastation and achieve record profits is an encouraging sign. It reflects the pent-up demand for travel and preference for budget carriers as consumers pare down their spending in the midst of continued economic turbulence. Ryanair’s low-cost business model and savvy financial moves have positioned it to navigate successfully through uncertain times.