Ryanair In Red On Discounting

Irish airline said it believes the downward pressure on air fares is beginning to ease, adding that budget deals had helped push forward bookings ahead of last year.


Feb. 04--Heavy discounting pushed Ryanair into the red during its third quarter, despite boss Michael O'Leary's efforts to clean up the airline's reputation for dubious customer service.

The no-frills carrier lost pounds sterling 34m in the three months to the end of 2013, compared with a profit of pounds sterling 16m for the same period a year earlier.

O'Leary said the reversal was 'entirely due' to deep discounts during the quarter, which saw the average fare fall by 9pc.

The price cuts meant that revenues were flat at pounds sterling 797m, despite a 6pc increase in passenger numbers to 17.3m.

The Irish airline said it believes the downward pressure on air fares is beginning to ease, adding that budget deals had helped push forward bookings ahead of last year. O'Leary has begun an image overhaul in a bid to stave off fierce competition from easyJet, which has enjoyed booming profits.

Separately, regional airline Flybe reduced the number of job cuts it plans to make from 500 to 450. Boss Saad Hammad said only 10pc of redundancies would be forced. The firm is in talks with four airlines about 'white label' contract flying deals, such as its existing agreement with Finnair.

Flybe (1.75p to 107p) has turned to contract flying on behalf of larger airlines amid tough conditions for regional carriers.

 

Copyright 2014 - Daily Mail, London

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