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.


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2019

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.