Strikes, higher fuel prices and rising labour costs have sent profits into a tailspin at budget airline Ryanair during the three months to the end of June.
Post-tax profit plunged by 20% to €319 million, from €397 million during the same period last year.
Shares fell by 0.64 cents, or 4.16%, to €14.86 after the company reported earnings per share down 18% from 32.66 cents last time to 26.62 cents.
Air traffic control problems
Ryanair said: “Fuel prices have risen substantially. While we are 90% hedged at $58 a barrel our unhedged balance will see our full-year fuel bill increase by at least €430 million.”
The airline was bedevilled during the period by poor industrial relations both inside and outside the company. Air traffic controllers in France were on strike for nine of the 13 weekends during April, May and June “leading to thousands of cancelled flights”. Ryanair cancelled more than 2,500 flights involving about 450,000 passengers during the quarter “with a loss of higher-yielding weekend traffic”.
Ryanair and other airlines have begun legal proceedings against the French government to keep the skies open and have called on the European Commission to take over responsibility for the upper air space so that overflights are unaffected by national air traffic control strikes.