Ryanair is cutting winter destinations - and warns more may be to come

skier fallingREUTERS/Ruben Sprich

  • Ryanair is cutting winter destinations and removing aircraft as labor strikes led the company to slash its full-year profit forecast by 12%.
  • The airline has had to lower its fares in the third quarter as bookings- particularly for the October school mid-term holiday and Christmas - and customer confidence are affected by fear of further strikes.
  • Ryanair trimmed its winter capacity by 1 percent, removing aircraft from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and Bremen and Niederrhein in Germany. It says more disruptions and cuts to flight destinations may be possible.
  • Ryanair "experienced interference in negotiations with our people and their unions" in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, and Belgium

Ryanair is cutting winter destinations and removing aircraft as labor strikes led the company to report a bleak full-year profit forecast.

Ryanair, the largest low cost-carrier in Europe, said it suffered a fall in its flight traffic which hit revenue, due to September strikes from pilots and cabin crew across Europe in September. The budget airline trimmed its winter capacity by 1 percent, removing aircraft from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and Bremen and Niederrhein in Germany.

The airline has had to lower its fares in the third quarter as bookings- particularly for the October school mid-term holiday and Christmas - and customer confidence are affected by fear of further strikes. Because winter flights are often operated at a loss, Ryanair says more disruptions and cuts to flight destinations may be possible. The company also said it couldn't rule out another lowered profit outlook.

Since recognizing unions in late 2017, Ryanair has made "substantial progress" in talks in major markets including Ireland, the UK, and Italy.

"Regrettably, such progress has been impeded in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, and Belgium where we've experienced interference in negotiations with our people and their unions," the company said in a statement.

The strikes led to higher re-accommodation costs, while rising oil prices also hit the airline.
Profit for the year is now expected to be between 1.1-1.2 billion euros (£2 billion) compared with the earlier forecast of 1.25-1.35 billion euros, a 12% drop, the Dublin-based airline said.

Shares of Ryanair plunged 8.8% on Monday.

But the company said that most flights will continue as normal.

"All affected customers have been contacted by email/SMS this morning and will be re-accommodated on other flights or refunded as they so wish," Ryanair said.

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