Oil price turbulence hits European airlines

Brent crude price hits nine-month high following advance of Iraqi militants

European airline shares have fallen sharply as growing violence in Iraq marks the end of an unprecedented period of low volatility in oil prices. Brent crude hit a nine-month high of $115 a barrel on Thursday, and has risen 5 per cent since militants entered the Iraqi towns of Mosul and Tikrit on June 10th.

Ryanair dismissed the prospects of a long-term rise in oil prices.

"This short-term thing happens all the time," said Howard Millar, chief financial officer. "It was Ukraine, now it's Iraq, it will be something else."

Ryanair has hedged 90 per cent of its fuel needs for this financial year at about $96 a barrel.