Ryanair is on course to record a positive net income in both of its winter quarters for only the second time in eight years, consolidating last year's achievement. Its 3Q2016 net income more than doubled and it has yet again almost certainly closed calendar 2015 as Europe's most profitable airline by operating margin (even before many airlines report their results).
Since embarking on its programme to improve its product, network and customer service two years ago, Ryanair has achieved impressive results. Load factor has leapt forward, driving up unit revenue, while unit cost has remained under control. Interestingly, however, unit revenue growth has been highest in the already strong summer quarters. Although Ryanair is now achieving year round profitability, the seasonal variation in its revenues is even more pronounced than before.
FY2016 could be Ryanair's most profitable year in eleven years, and it also looks set to become Europe's largest airline group by passenger numbers in the next twelve months. As Michael O'Leary said of the airline that he has led for 22 years, "the business is in robust good shape".
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