12 FEBRUARY 2018
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Having had to do U-turns over pilot union recognition and Brexit, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary was in a pessimistic mood when he announced the airline’s quarterly results.
Despite a “very challenging” quarter, the Irish airline managed to achieve a 12% rise in third quarter profit to €106m as average fares fell 4% to €32 per customer.
"Following our pilot rostering failure in September the painful decision to ground 25 aircraft ensured that punctuality of our operations quickly returned to our normal 90% average.
And on the move to union recognition he came out strong: "While union recognition may add some complexity to our business and may cause short-term disruptions and negative PR it will not alter our cost leadership in European aviation, or change our plan to grow to 200m traffic a year by March 2024." The union problem has not gone away. Only 25% of pilots are represented by BALPA and with 87 bases life is complicated.
The official airline view is concern at the continuing uncertainty surrounding the terms of the UK's proposed departure from the EU in March 2019.
"There remains a worrying risk of serious disruption to UK–EU flights from April 2019 unless a UK–EU bilateral, or transitional arrangement, is agreed in advance of September 2018," it said.
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