Ryanair cuts 2020 passenger forecast, fearing Boeing MAX delays

A Ryanair aeroplane prepares to land at Dublin airport in Dublin, Ireland. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 July 2019

Ryanair cuts 2020 passenger forecast, fearing Boeing MAX delays

  • The stock has fallen about 4 percent so far this year, hit by over-capacity and intense competition in Europe’s short-haul aviation market

LONDON: Europe’s largest budget airline Ryanair has cut its forecast for passenger numbers next summer, blaming possible further delays in deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX planes.
The Irish company said the move would also impact jobs as it would close or make cuts at the some of its bases for the winter 2019 and summer 2020 schedules.
The airline now expects to carry 3 percent more passengers next summer, down from its previous forecast of 7 percent. That reduces its traffic estimate for the year to March 2021 to around 157 million from 162 million.
Boeing’s top-selling jet was grounded in March after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed a total of 346 people. The planemaker is working on a software fix that people close to the matter have said it hopes to present to regulators in September.
Ryanair expects the 737 MAX to return to service before the end of the year, with the first of new planes it has ordered to be delivered in January and February 2020. But the exact date is uncertain and Ryanair has revised its summer 2020 schedule based on 30 additional aircraft, rather than 58.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Cuts summer 2020 passenger growth forecast.

• To cut or close some bases for winter 2019, summer 2020.

• Expects 737 to return to service before year-end.

“Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement.
“We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December,” he said.
“As Ryanair have ordered the Boeing MAX200s, which are a variant of the MAX aircraft, these need to be separately certified by the FAA and EASA,” he added, referring to US and European aviation regulators respectively.
“Ryanair expects that the MAX200 will be approved for flight services within 2 months of the MAX return to service.”
Ryanair said it would start discussions with airports to determine which of its underperforming or loss-making bases would be cut or closed from November 2019. The airline said it would also consult unions.
Ryanair shares were up 1.2 percent in early trading. The stock has fallen about 4 percent so far this year, hit by over-capacity and intense competition in Europe’s short-haul aviation market.


IMF warns of Asia’s darkening growth outlook as trade war bites

Updated 18 October 2019

IMF warns of Asia’s darkening growth outlook as trade war bites

  • The IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region to 5.0 percent for this year and 5.1 percent for 2020
  • It also slashed China’s growth forecast to 6.1 percent for this year and 5.8 percent for 2020
WASHINGTON: Asian nations face heightening risks to their economic outlooks as the US-China trade war and slumping Chinese demand hurt the world’s fastest-growing region, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.
In its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region to 5.0 percent for this year and 5.1 percent for 2020 — the slowest pace of expansion since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
“Headwinds from global policy uncertainty and growth deceleration in major trading partners are taking a toll on manufacturing, investment, trade, and growth,” Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department, said during a news conference at the IMF and World Bank fall meetings.
“Risks are skewed to the downside,” he said, calling on policymakers in the region to focus on near-term fiscal and monetary policy steps to spur growth.
“The intensification in trade tensions between the US and China could further weigh on confidence and financial markets, thereby weakening trade, investment and growth,” he said.
A faster-than-expected slowdown in China’s economic growth could also generate negative spillovers in the region, as many Asian countries have supply chains closely tied to China, he added.
The IMF slashed China’s growth forecast to 6.1 percent for this year and 5.8 percent for 2020, pointing to the impact from the trade conflict and tighter regulation to address excess debt.