Ryanair has reported a 47% dive in profits to £170m for the six months to the end of Septemner. It has blamed the soaring cost of fuel for the drop.
The budget airline says fuel accounts for more than half of its operating costs and the cost per barrel of oil rose from £40 to £79 earlier this year. It this is the sole factor in its steep decline in profits.
Ryanair executive Michael O’Leary say that he expects the airline to rebound because recession is driving down oil prices.
The airline expects the average fares to fall 20% leading to losses in its third and fourth quarters. But, Ryanair’s revenue for the first half was up 16% and its passenger numbers increased 19% compared to the same period last year to 32 million.
Despite a drop in profit, Ryanair today announced to offer £8 plus tax flights to New York before the end of next year. It would make it the first budget carrier to offer transatlantic flights for less than £10.