Irish budget carrier Ryanair has stressed that it expects business in the UK to slow as the country heads towards a formal withdrawal from the European Union.
The carrier says there is still “significant uncertainty” regarding the eventual relationship between the UK and the EU, particularly given the signals that the UK is preparing for a complete separation rather than an agreement retaining certain market-access rights.
This uncertainty will “continue to represent a challenge for our business” over 2017-18, says Ryanair in a third-quarter financial statement, adding that it expects UK currency to “remain volatile for some time”.
“We may see a slowdown in economic growth in both the UK and Europe as we move closer to [the UK’s exit],” it adds. “While there may be opportunities to expand at certain UK airports…we expect to grow at a slower pace than previously planned in the UK.”
Ryanair says it will continue to shift capacity to other markets in Europe if opportunities for UK expansion diminish.
“We hope that the UK remains a member of Europe’s ‘open skies’ system,” it says. “Until the final outcome is known, however, we will continue to adapt to changing circumstances in the best interest of our customers, people and shareholders.”