Ryanair reduces full year traffic target; maintains profit forecast; planning large aircraft order
Ryanair held its AGM on 24-Sep-2009, with the following strategic updates (Reuters/The Times/Irish Times, 24/25-Sep-2009):
- Passenger target: Ryanair reduced its full-year traffic target from 67 million to 66 million, predominantly due to capacity reductions at Dublin and London Stansted;
- Profit outlook: Ryanair maintained its full year profit forecast, at the lower end of the EUR200-300 million range;
- Long-haul services: CEO, Michael O’Leary, stated the carrier is at least three or four years away from launching an associated low-cost long-haul airline, due to a lack of affordable aircraft;
- Dividend: Ryanair suggested that it is considering paying a one-off dividend, a change from its usual cash preservation strategy. The carrier currently has cash reserves of approximately EUR2.5 billion;
- Fleet plans: Is in negotiations with Boeing and Airbus for another large order of up to 200 aircraft;
- Aer Lingus: Mr O’Leary stated it is “highly unlikely” Ryanair will make a third bid for Aer Lingus (in which Ryanair owns 29%).
Ryanair: “I can’t foresee circumstances in which we would be interested in bidding again [for Aer Lingus], but you never say never. I don’t believe Aer Lingus has a future as a standalone independent airline," Michael O’Leary, CEO. Source: The Times, 25-Sep-2009.