Ryanair shares were higher in early Wednesday trade. The gain comes despite the latest passenger numbers confirming a slowdown in growth in 2017 from the 2016 performance.
By 0915 BST, Ryanair shares were trading 1.10% higher at €15.17. Ryanair shares ended 2017 just 3.8% higher, after a year dogged by pilot troubles and flight cancellations, in the final months of the year.
Disappointing passenger figures
Ryanair reported Wednesday that the number of passengers who flew on its airline during December 2017, totalled 9.3 million. That was a 3% gain on the same month a year earlier. The airline added its load factor rose 1% over the same period.
Looking at 2017 as a whole, meanwhile, Ryanair passenger numbers totalled 129 million, representing a 10% gain over 2016. However, that was a smaller increase than the 15% rise in passenger numbers in 2016 from 2015.
“Ryanair’s December traffic grew by 3% to 9.3m customers, while our load factor jumped 1% to 95%, on the back of lower fares in December,” said Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs in a company press release.
“Ryanair customers can look forward to even lower fares for 2018 and we urge all customers who wish to book their summer 2018 holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fares in Europe,” Jacobs added.
Ryanair likely hoping for a better 2018
The year 2017 didn’t end too well for the Dublin-based budget airline. After enduring a pilot debacle and having to cancel a number of flights on short notice and through scheduled changes, Ryanair then experienced its first ever pilot strike.
German pilots staged a 4-hour walk out after the airline’s claim it would recognise pilot unions for the first time in its history, wasn’t backed up sufficiently for German pilot union, Vereinigung Cockpit.
The strike took place in the early morning of Friday December 22nd.