Ryanair has issued a profit warning, saying strikes taking place across Europe and higher oil prices will hit its full-year performance.
The Irish carrier had predicted its profits would reach a range of €1.25 billion to €1.35 billion, but it has lowered its guidance to €1.1 billion to €1.2 billion.
Ryanair blames “lower traffic and weaker close-in fares” in September caused by two days of strike action by pilots and cabin crew in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. It has also had to pay out compensation under EU261 claims and higher re-accommodation costs as a result of the walk-outs.
The airline also says it has seen lower fares because forward bookings and customer confidence “are affected by fear of future strikes”.
In addition, Ryanair saw unhedged oil prices rise.
CEO Michael O’Leary said: “Like a number of other EU airlines, we have decided to trim our winter 2018 capacity by 1 per cent in response to this lower fare, higher oil and higher EU261 cost environment.”
O’Leary said the airline would cut several aircraft this winter, including four at its Eindhoven base, two in Bremen and two in Niederrhein, though all of these basis will continue to be served by aircraft from other bases.
Ryanair claims it will consult with its pilots and cabin crew at these bases to “minimise job losses”, saying it will offer pilots vacancies at other hubs and “will explore unpaid leave and other options” with cabin crew because it has a “surplus” of these staff members.
The carrier maintains that the strikes are “unnecessary” because it has offered staff “what they ask for in writing”.
Ryanair says it cannot rule out the possibility that further strikes in Q3 could cause it to lower its profit guidance even further.