DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair cut its forecast for full-year profit by 12 percent on Monday and said worse may be to come if recent coordinated strikes across Europe continue to hit traffic and bookings.
Passengers queue at a Ryanair window in the departure hall during a strike by Ryanair workers of several European countries, at the airport in Valencia, Spain, September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Heino Kalis
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier has faced multiple strikes since it bowed to pressure to recognise trade unions for the first time last December and they have escalated in recent months as it makes slow progress in talks with some unions .
The Irish airline said it now expects profit for the year, excluding start up losses in Laudamotion, to come in between 1.10-1.20 billion euros ($2.66 billion), compared with its prior forecast of 1.25-1.35 billion euros.
It added that it could not rule out further disruptions in the coming months, which may require full-year forecasts to be lowered again and further cuts to its loss-making winter capacity.
Shares in the airline were 8.6 percent lower at 11.99 euros by 0710 GMT.
Ryanair said fares in its second quarter to end-September had fallen by around 3 percent compared with its previous forecast for a drop of 1 percent and said that it now expects fares in the second half to be 2 percent lower.
To cope with lower fares, higher oil prices and strike costs, Ryanair has trimmed its winter capacity by 1 percent, removing aircraft from its Eindhoven, Bremen and Niederrhein bases.
“Two recent coordinated strikes by cabin crew and pilots across five EU countries have affected passenger numbers, close in bookings and yields, and forward air fares into Q3,” Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary said in a statement.
“Customer confidence, forward bookings and Q3 fares have been affected, most notably over the October school mid-terms and Christmas.”
Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Louies Heavens