Ryanair’s profits have plummeted by almost 30%

Ryanair’s fares fell by 6 per cent in the year to March 2019, leading to a slump of 29 per cent in the airline’s profits.

But with full-year profits of over €1bn (£880m), Europe’s biggest budget airline remains in far better shape than many of its rivals. 

Last year, the carrier’s average one-way fare was €37 (£32), down 6 per cent.

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Ryanair said it remained “cautious” on pricing and fares could dip even lower due to competition.

Passenger numbers grew by 7 per cent to 139 million, representing a profit per passenger of £6.33.

Non-fuel costs rose by 5 per cent, largely due to an increase in salaries – particularly for pilots.

In addition, the airline says that disruption caused by air-traffic control staff shortages cost it €50m (£44m). 

The airline says it has delayed the delivery of its first five Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the end of October. 

The aircraft was grounded after two fatal crashes cost the lives of 346 people.

The airline said: “We continue to have utmost confidence in these aircraft, which have 4 per cent more seats, are 16 per cent more fuel efficient and generate 40 per cent lower noise emissions.”

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