RYANAIR has seen a 26 per cent drop in quarterly profits, but the low-cost airline is still in a bullish mood.
Net profit was 35m euros ($45.5m; £24m) in the three months ending December 31, down from 47.5m euros a year earlier.
Despite the fall in profits, blamed on price-cutting and fuel costs, Ryanair’s passenger volumes during the October to December period grew by 13% to 6.9 million.
With many holiday home owners in France reliant on a low cost airline link, the future plans and forecasts of Ryanair are keenly watched.
Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, right, believes that many of the airline’s competitors are set to fail, he said: “As predicted, casualties continue in the European industry, most notably Volare, VBird and Air Polonia.
“This is not a temporary phenomenon resulting from high oil prices, but a permanent market shift towards low cost air travel, led by Ryanair.
“Only the lowest cost airlines like Southwest in the US and Ryanair in Europe will prosper over the medium term and we expect further casualties, cut backs and withdrawals among our loss making competitors.”