Ryanair on track for ‘strong’ summer as airline swings to profit

The chief executive of Ryanair has forecast that demand for travel in Europe will be boosted by a rush of US and Asian tourists this summer, after the low-cost airline reported record profitability despite the economic downturn.

Michael O’Leary said early bookings showed that Europe’s largest airline was on track for a “strong” summer. He added that the relative strength of the US dollar and end of most border restrictions had encouraged long-haul travellers to make bookings to travel to Europe once more.

“Already this summer is looking strong,” he said. “We believe we will see robust demand both through Easter and into summer 2023 for short-haul flights across Europe.”

Ryanair on Monday reported profit after tax of €211mn for the three months to the end of December, against a loss of €96mn a year previously, when border restrictions were still stifling travel.

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The results were a record for the December quarter, analysts at Bernstein said, and came after passengers paid fares 14 per cent higher than in the comparable quarter three years ago, before Covid-19 struck.

Ryanair reiterated its forecast of a profit after tax of between €1.325bn and €1.425bn for its financial year ending in March.

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