Ryanair has just announced its profits soared by two thirds during the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015. Financial statements released by the Dublin based low cost carrier show it made €867 million (£613 million) net profit over the year.
For the fiscal year ending March 2014, Ryanair reported post tax profits of €523 million (£370 million using current exchange rates). Airline industry analysts say the profit bonanza is a direct result of lower ticket prices, cheaper jet fuel and an image revamp so that it appears more customer friendly.
The number of passengers who flew with Ryanair during 2014-2015 rose to 90.6 million and represented an 11 per cent jump on the previous 12 months. Lower prices for fuel also had a huge impact as they slashed total operating costs by five per cent.
Lower fares encouraged the travelling public to opt for Ryanair. The statements show that the carrier’s aircraft took off with more passengers onboard. Vacant seats were 30 per cent lower last year.
The about turn in Ryanair’s fortunes began in 2013 when it posted lower than expected profits and CEO Michael O’Leary decided it was time to stop annoying passengers. Passengers had claimed the airline did not take their requirements into account and was intransigent in its enforcement of rules and extra fees.
Commenting on the profit increase, Neil Sorahan, the carrier’s head financial officer, said fares would decrease by between a further two and four per cent over the coming year. He added that he expected Ryanair to expand its routes across Europe and in Germany in particular.
As a part of its improvements, Ryanair has changed its hand luggage criteria and introduced designated seats. Forthcoming measures include a website feature giving comparisons between Ryanair’s fares and those of other airlines flying the same routes.