DUBLIN, Nov 6 — Irish no-frills airline Ryanair today announced that net profit surged 72 per cent in its first half thanks to higher fares and record traffic during the peak summer season.

Profit after tax came in at €2.2 billion (US$2.4 billion) in the six months to the end of September compared with €1.3 billion in the equivalent period one year earlier, Ryanair said in a statement.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the carrier’s full-year outlook “remains highly dependent on the absence of any unforeseen adverse events — for example such as Ukraine or Gaza — between now and the end of March”.

The aviation sector is enjoying a strong recovery after suffering heavy losses at the start of the decade when the Covid pandemic grounded flights worldwide.

“Ryanair Holdings reported a strong half-year profit... thanks to a strong Easter in the first quarter, record summer traffic and higher fares which offset significantly higher fuel costs,” the company statement said today.

Traffic grew 11 per cent to 105 million passengers while average fares jumped by almost one quarter.

O’Leary said the company expects full-year net profit of between €1.85 billion and €2.05 billion — a forecast that assumes “modest losses” over the winter.

He added that the outlook was clouded by uncertainty over the delivery of new Boeing planes, “a significantly higher full-year fuel bill, very limited fourth-quarter visibility and the risk of weaker consumer spending over coming months”.

US planemaker Boeing last month reported another hefty loss as it trimmed its full-year forecast for deliveries of the 737 to address a manufacturing problem on the aircraft. — AFP