Cabin crew working for Ryanair will stage two days of strikes this week, and pilots will hold a third
Ryanair’s profits fell by 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year, with lower fares, higher oil prices and strikes taking the blame.
Europe’s largest budget airline reported profits after tax of €319m between April and June of 2018. Over the same period in 2017 this was €397m.
The fall was less than Ryanair had expected. The carrier had previously issued a forecast stating that profits after tax would be €305m.
Ryanair are facing three more days of industrial action this week as pilots and cabin crew down tools in a dispute over working conditions.
The action is taking place in Belgium, Portugal and Spain on Wednesday and Thursday, 25 and 26 July. 600 flights have already been cancelled with more than 10,000 passengers notified that they will be unable to take the trip they had originally booked.
Pilots based in Ireland will strike on Tuesday 24 July.
The company had managed to avert mass strike action before Christmas by deciding to recognise trade unions for the first time in its history.
However, it has struggled to reach an agreement with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, who represent cabin crew, and Fórsa, who represent pilots based in Ireland.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO, said: “As previously guided, Q1 PAT fell by 20 per cent to €319m due to lower fares, the absence of half of Easter in the quarter, higher oil prices and pilot costs. Traffic grew 7 per cent to 37.6m, despite over 2,500 flight cancellations caused by ATC staff shortages and ATC strikes. Ryanair’s lower fares delivered an industry leading 96 per cent load factor.”
The statement continued to say that pilots had been offered an increase in pay of 20 per cent and allowed more than 700 of them to move to their preferred base.
It read: “While we continue to actively engage with pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe, we expect further strikes over the peak summer period as we are not prepared to concede to unreasonable demands that will compromise either our low fares or our highly efficient model.
“If these unnecessary strikes continue to damage customer confidence and forward prices/yields in certain country markets then we will have to review our winter schedule, which may lead to fleet reductions at disrupted bases and job losses in markets where competitor employees are interfering in our negotiations with our people and their unions.
“We cannot allow our customers’ flights to be unnecessarily disrupted by a tiny minority of pilots.”
This article was updated at 9.15 on 24 July 2018 to reflect the fact that pilots will be on strike and to correct a date.