Connect with us


Ryanair reports record profits of €1.9 billion as Amber Rudd joins the board




Ryanair has reported record annual profits of €1.9 billion (£1.6 billion) and announced the appointment of former British Home Secretary Amber Rudd to its board of directors. The airline also indicated that summer fares would be lower than previously expected.

Profits after tax rose by more than a third in the year ended March, driven by a 9% increase in passenger numbers to 184 million, which is 23% higher than pre-pandemic levels. The Dublin-listed company expects to carry up to 200 million passengers in the current financial year, but noted that recent prices have been softer than expected, requiring lower fares to attract customers.

Ryanair expects prices to “remain flat to modest, ahead of last summer”, but acknowledged that “recent prices have been softer than we expected”, prompting adjustments to fare strategies.

Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under David Cameron and Home Secretary under Theresa May, will join Ryanair as non-executive director on July 1. Rudd, an investment banker before her political career, has since held positions at PR agencies, was an adviser to Darktrace and sat on the board of Centrica, the owner of British Gas.

Ryanair, now the world’s second-largest airline by market value, has been criticized as one of the EU’s biggest polluters. The airline claims its investments in new aircraft will improve fuel efficiency, potentially reducing CO2 emissions per passenger, although overall industry emissions are expected to rise as passenger numbers grow.

Ryanair’s expansion efforts have been hampered by delays at Boeing, the American aircraft manufacturer. The airline expects to receive 12 new Boeing 737 Max planes between March and July, but will be 23 planes short of the original contract due to safety scandals causing delivery delays.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, said: “We intend to deliver as much growth as possible for passengers and airport partners in [summer 2024]although these delays mean that more traffic will grow at lower revenues [second half] than planned.”

As Ryanair overcomes these challenges, it remains focused on growth and maintaining its competitive advantage in the budget airline market.