Ryanair has announced plans to move to a group structure over the next 12 months. In a statement, the budget carrier said a small senior team would oversee the development of four airline subsidiaries – Ryanair DAC, Ryanair Sun, Ryanair UK and Laudamotion, each with their own CEOs and management teams. Ryanair completed a 100 percent takeover of Austrian carrier Laudamotion at the end of January.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary will move to become Group CEO, with his successor at Ryanair DAC appointed later this year. He and his team will oversee capital allocation, cost reductions, aircraft acquisitions and M&A opportunities. The move mirrors a similar group structure at International Airlines Group International Airlines Group (IAG) formed in January 2011.
The announcements came today as part of Ryanair’s Q3 results, which showed revenue up 9 percent to €1.53 billion ($1.75 billion) but a net loss of €20 million ($23 million), excluding Laudamotion. Over the same period last year it made a €106 million ($121 million) profit after tax.
Traffic growth of 8 percent to 33 million was offset by a 6 percent decline in average fares due to excess winter capacity in Europe, the airline said. It was Ryanair’s first quarterly loss since March 2014 amid trying times for low-cost carriers. Primera Air and Cobalt Air both folded in 2018, after which O’Leary predicted “more and larger failures this winter.”
Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air made €1.7 million ($1.9 million) in Q3, down from €14 million ($16 million) over the same period in 2017. Meanwhile Norwegian, popular for its low-cost long-haul flights, is fighting for survival as it faces rising debt, with IAG announcing it would sell its 3.93 per cent stake.