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Irish ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair reported a €19.6 million ($22.4 million USD) profit loss for the third quarter of 2018. Ryanair also painted a bleak outlook for future earnings with Brexit complications looming over the industry, calling risks from a no-deal Brexit “worryingly high.”
Blaming low fares on the stiff competition throughout the European market, the Dublin-based airline said that ticket prices were likely to remain low as fuel prices continue to fall and boost faltering budget airlines to remain in business and add competition.
“While a €20 million loss in Q3 was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker than expected airfares, so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said of the earnings report, according to Sky News.
The earnings loss happened even though Ryanair added 8% more passengers for a total of 30.4 million. It remains the largest European airline by passengers carried. But, at the same time, “excess winter capacity in Europe” caused fare prices to drop by 6%, and the airline said its year-end earnings will likely take a toll due to the dip in fare prices.
Also potentially hurting future profits: Brexit.
“The risk of a no-deal Brexit remains worryingly high,” O’Leary said. “While we hope that common sense will prevail, and lead either to a delay in Brexit, or agreement on the 21-month transition deal currently on the table, we have taken all necessary steps to protect Ryanair’s business in a no-deal environment.”
One of those precautions includes a UK-based arm of the airline, Ryanair UK, that can continue to operate flights within the UK and to destinations around the European Union in a post-Brexit world.
Featured image by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
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