Low-cost airline Ryanair has published its financial results for the first half of 2022, reporting a €1.37 billion profit after tax. This is a strong recovery, exceeding pre-Covid results by 14%.
Compared to the same period last year, the airline had 143% more customers, from 39.1 million to 95.1 million, while the load factor increased from 79% to 94%. Even with the more than double operational costs Ryanair saw this year, compared to 2021, it still made the outstanding profit of €1.37 billion.
Part of Ryanair’s success, compared to other airlines that have been struggling this year, is due to CEO Michael O’Leary’s decision to not fire employees during the pandemic, but rather lower their pay with the promise of restoration once traffic is back on track. The initial agreement was for salaries to be gradually restored from 2022 to 2025. The deadline was brought forward to April 2023, after negotiations with workers’ unions concluded in long-term deals on pay and rosters.
With the success of this year’s first half, the airline has decided to accelerate the process even more, the full restoration of pay for all crews covered by these long-term agreements being expected on 1 December 2022. These crews will now receive their full pay restoration in the Christmas payroll. The airline said in a statement it has also reached out to the unions representing the less than 10% pilots and crew that have not yet reached an agreement on pay restoration, urging them to return to negotiations.
During S.22 we operated 73 new B737 “Gamechanger” aircraft, which deliver 4% more seats per flight yet burn 16% less fuel and cut noise emissions by up to 40%.Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO
O’Leary highlighted that Ryanair’s commitment to sustainability also contributed to the year’s success, having invested in more fuel efficient aircraft, with a higher passenger capacity. “We continue to invest heavily in fuel efficient, environmentally friendly new aircraft technology. Passengers who switch to Ryanair (from high-fare EU legacy airlines) can reduce their emissions by up to 50% per flight, proving that with Ryanair tourism growth can be delivered in a more sustainable manner”, he said.
Building on their recent partnership with Neste to power up to one third of Ryanair’s Schiphol flights with a 40% SAF blend, the airline signed a long-term deal with OMV in September to purchase up to 160,000 tonnes of SAF at airports across Austria, Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. Ryanair hopes to power 12.5% of flights using SAF and cut CO₂ per passenger/km by 10%, to just 60 grams, by 2030.
Lastly, in the context of the current economic crisis, Ryanair expects to grow strongly in a recession as consumers will keep flying but become more price sensitive. ” Like Aldi, Lidl, Ikea and other price leaders our very strong post Covid recovery shows that price will continue to drive market share gains as we add low cost, more fuel efficient, aircraft to our fleet over the next 4 years”, the airline said.