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Ryanair change of strategy sees profits bounce back in 2014

Results based on better customer service and new routes from major airports, says carrier

Ryanair has been working to make customer service more friendly.
Ryanair has been working to make customer service more friendly.JOSEP LAGO (AFP)

A change of pace has been good for Ryanair. The budget airline said on Tuesday that net profit grew 66% in 2014 on the back of its two-year-old strategy based on better customer service and new routes from major airports.

The Irish company’s earnings after taxes grew to €867 million last year, sending its profit margin up from 10% to 15%, it said in a results statement. Revenue swelled 12% to €5.65 billion.

Ryanair says it hopes to become Europe’s friendliest airline, besides the cheapest

While passenger traffic also grew by 11 percent to 90.6 million, the rate of growth is nowhere near as big as the expansion in profits.

The no-frills company said the success was closely linked to its decisions to offer routes from primary airports, to create more flexible schedules for business travelers, and to introduce a new website and app, among other things. Falling oil prices are also helping boost corporate results.

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Ryanair says it hopes to become Europe’s friendliest airline, besides the cheapest.

In Spain, the discount carrier is increasing its presence at all major airports while pulling back from former strongholds such as Girona and Reus. Ryanair’s presence at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport increased over 30% between January and April.

Already Spain’s top airline by passenger numbers, the company also continues to widen its lead over the competition.

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