Thought leadership

Ryanair has reported a sharp fall in quarterly profits as it reduced fares to drive up passenger numbers. Profits fell 21% to €243m (£219m) for the three months to the end of June, as the average ticket price fell 6%.

The airline was also hit by higher costs for fuel and staff.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the two weakest markets were Germany, where they faced competition from Lufthansa-owned Air Berlin, and the UK, where there were Brexit uncertainties.

Mr O’Leary said that in Germany budget airline Air Berlin was “selling excess capacity at below cost prices”, while in the UK, “Brexit concerns weigh negatively on consumer confidence and spending”.

He added that “the current weak fare environment has continued into the second quarter and we expect [first half] fares to be down approximately 6%”.

Earlier this month the company said it was adjusting its schedules due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max family of jets. It confirmed on Monday that it expected to have 30 new Max jets in time for next summer.

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