Ryanair Boeing 737-800. Photo: Adrian Pingstone.

LONDON – Irish Low-Cost Carrier Ryanair has reported a loss €20 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Despite the drop in profits, the airline has reported a substantial increase in traffic growth, with an eight percent rise to 32.7 million passengers.

However, this was offset by a six percent decline in average fares due to what the airline referred to as “excessive winter capacity in Europe”.

PHOTO: Ryanair.

The report detailed that despite a net loss of €20 million, the carrier’s Q3 revenue increased 9% to €1.53bn, up 1% per guest, due to a strong performance in ancillary revenue and increased traffic stimulated by a 6% decline in average fares to under €30 due to excess short-haul capacity in Europe.

Ryanair’s Micheal O’Leary described the loss as “disappointing” but said he was happy with the performance of the airline over the year.

The airline has also stated that this loss is an exclusion on Laudamotion, which Ryanair recently acquired, which reported an “exceptional Q3 FY19 loss of €46.5 million”.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said in a statement, “While a €20m loss in Q3 was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker than expected airfares so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth.”

“While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 26% in Q3, this was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs.”

This loss annoucnement many not come as much of a surprise for Ryanair who had a troubbled 2018, with many of their pilots and crew striking in Europe over issues with pay and contracts.

In additon to this, the airline was forced to pay out large ammounts of compensation fee’s for all of it’s passangers that were affected by these strikes.

The strikes of their own staff, French ATC, and with the ever rising fuel and oil costs must have played a major part in such large reported loss for the airline.

The future looks bright for Ryanair, however. The airline has taken the required steps to prepare for the no-deal BREXIT situation, which has been widely talked about in recent weeks.

Brexit Ahead, Ryanair Is Ready

The report detailed that the airline plans to combat the new open-skies agreement between the UK and European countries in the EU (European Union).

The carrier said that they plan to follow a structure not too similar to the one that IAG currently uses, with Ryanair moving over the next 12 months to set up a small senior management team which will “oversee the development of the four airline subsidiaries; Ryanair DAC, Laudamotion, Ryanair Sun and Ryanair UK.”

Each will have their own CEOs and management teams.

Ryanair confirmed that to make these changes, Micheal O’Leary will become the group CEO, a role which they say he will have to allow him to concentrate on the developem of the group.

The carrier also mentioned that they will be replacing the CEO of Ryanair DAC with someone that will work alongside the CEOs of Laudamotion and Ryanair Sun.

With Ryanair now preparing for BREXIT, the airline has also confirmed that they are on track to take delivery of what they have referred too as their “gamechanger” aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX HC, five of which are on currently on schedule to be delivered from April this year.

The MAX aircraft will offer Ryanair four percent more seats and are 16 percent more fuel efficient.

In all, it would appear that despite the net loss, the airline has had a strong Q3 with many positives to be taken forward as the airline looks set for a very profitable 2019.