Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive has revealed that a combination of the tragic bombing incident at Brussel’s Zaventem Airport, combined with air traffic control strikes would likely see a hole of between €10m and €20m created in the airline’s year-end profits for 2016. Ryanair is not the only airline to openly admit to the effect of the attacks; both IAG – the owner of British Airways – and Lufthansa have openly indicated the attacks will be a factor in seeing growth plans trimmed for the year.
O’Leary has seen demand remain reduced for European air travel, despite strong results over the Easter break. At a conference in Dublin he told journalists that “The Brussels effect has dampened demand into April-May though funnily enough it did not create as much disruption over the Easter period, but I think that’s because a lot of families had holidays booked.”
Knowing that Zaventem Airport, which is currently operating at 80% capacity and struggling with delays caused by new security measures, would be back to full capacity in June, O’Leary was still cautious about the prospects for summer demand, saying “The danger for us is that you have one or two more of these events somewhere in Europe during the summer and that will effect confidence,” and adding that he was “always worried about (consumer) confidence… business is going great and when business is going great, that’s when you worry.”
May 23rd is when Ryanair will announce the airline’s results for the year to the end of March.
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