Swords-Based Airline Has Best Year Yet

Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer of RyanairKenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair

Ryanair, who are based in Swords, have had their best year yet and a performance deemed “exceptional” by industry experts, as figures reveal they carried a record 90 million passengers in the last year.
Ryanair carried a record 90.5 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March – 11 per cent more than it did in the previous financial year as its reinvention continues to pay dividends.
Analysts described the performance as “very strong” and shares in the carrier rose as much as 1.8 per cent last week, valuing the company at E15.3bn. Shares in the airline have gained over 50 per cent in the past year.
Ryanair’s load factor, a crucial measure of what percentage of available seats it filled, jumped to 90 per cent in March and stood at about 88 per cent for its financial year which ended last month.
It carried 6.67 million passengers last month, 28 per cent more than it did in March last year.
Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the surge in passenger numbers and load factor was a result of lower fares, coupled with a stronger forward booking strategy and the positive impact of its ‘Always Getting Better’ campaign designed to win over customers with improved service and offerings.
“With our new routes, increased frequencies and Business Plus service, customers can now look forward to further service enhancements, as we roll out the 2nd year of our AGB programme in 2015, which includes a new website and app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms and inflight menus, reduced airport fees, and great new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’, destination content and fare comparison services,” he added.
An analyst at a Dublin stockbrokers described the full-year performance by Ryanair as “exceptional”. He said that a key factor for Ryanair’s financial quarter that just ended will be the yield, or the average price at which it sells its tickets. Ryanair said earlier this year that it anticipated making profits of between E750m and E770m in the 12 months to the end of March.
Meanwhile, in a move which most definitely won’t go down well with some passengers, Michael O’Leary has apparently banned alcohol on some of their Caledonian flights.
According to a Scottish newspaper, holiday-makers flying from Glasgow Prestwick to Ibiza will no longer be able to drink alcohol on board flights. The Swords-based airline says that no booze can be bought, and that includes any customers uncorking any alcohol based drinks bought pre-flight between the two destinations.
Irish travellers are as yet, unaffected as no reports of a similar ban here on Irish shores has been mentioned.
Regarding the hugely publicised Aer Lingus takeover, reports have emerged which say that Ryanair may be forced to wait another month to see whether if the decision to force the airline to cut its stake in Aer Lingus to no more than five per cent will be reversed.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has the authority to grant Ryanair permission to sell its entire Aer Lingus stake to IAG – an undertaking IAG reportedly wants before it makes a formal offer to buy the Irish airline.
Ryanair has recently opened a fresh front against the CMA in its efforts to force the authority to reverse a 2013 decision that the airline should cut its stake in Aer Lingus to no more than five per cent. Ryanair currently owns close to 30 per cent of Aer Lingus.
That decision was made partly because the CMA said a potential bidder for Aer Lingus could be deterred from making a takeover approach because Ryanair was such a big shareholder in its smaller rival. But Ryanair has since argued that the CMA is now obliged to reassess its original findings because there has been a material change of circumstances – namely, the takeover approach made by IAG for Aer Lingus. It is understood the CMA will issue a provisional finding on Ryanair’s request to reverse the 2013 decision within a month or so.