Ryanair shares rise as passenger numbers exceed 90 million
Rise of 12% year on year in passenger journeys
Ryanair shares ended 1.05 per cent ahead yesterday at €11.055, with just over a million shares changing hands in Dublin. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
Ryanair shares rose sharply on the Irish stock exchange following news that the airline broke the 90-million passenger barrier in its last financial year, which ended a week ago.
Ryanair said yesterday that 6.67 million people flew with it in March, 28 per cent more than during the same month last year, when 5.2 million travelled with the Irish low-cost carrier.
March brought to 90.5 million the total number of passengers carried by the airline in its 2014-2015 financial year, which ended on the 31st of the month. The figure is 12 per cent more than the 81.7 million it carried during its previous financial year.
The news prompted a sharp rise in share price, which was up 2 per cent at €11.15 early on yesterday afternoon before some of those gains were pared back. It ended 1.05 per cent ahead at €11.055. Just over one million of its stock changed hands in Dublin.
The airline had been predicting for some some time that it would carry 90 million passengers during its 2014-2015 financial year. The company also said in February it expected to make up to €850 million in profit during that period. Ryanair is due to report figures for the financial year next month.
Numbers released yesterday show it sold 90 per cent of the seats on its aircraft during March, compared to 80 per cent during the same period in 2014.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the growth was due to its lower fares, a forward-booking strategy that allows passengers to reserve seats months earlier than previously, and better customer service.
Over the last 18 months, Ryanair has been working on a well-publicised revamp of its customer service which is partly aimed at luring more business travellers and families to fly with the airline.
Mr Jacobs said it plans to roll out further stages of the programme, dubbed “always getting better”, over the next 12 months.
The airline is aiming to fly 100 million people over the next 12 months. It recently began taking delivery of the first of 180 new craft that it has ordered from US manufacturer Boeing.