Irish budget carrier Ryanair is planning to ground around 20 aircraft this winter to counter the impact of spiralling fuel costs. Ryanair is embarking on an intensive cost-cutting drive for its 2008-09 financial year as its fuel costs threaten to widen by €300 million ($474.5 million), pushing its profits down by up to 50%.

Speaking during the French Connect Low Cost Forum in Courchevel, Ryanair deputy CEO Michael Cawley warned of tough conditions to come this winter.

He says: “This winter is going to be very difficult. We will put 20 aircraft on the ground for the winter because it’s more profitable. We would just lose a lot of money [operating them], burning fuel.”

The carrier grounded seven of its 40 aircraft at London Stansted during the winter just completed, saying increased airport charges made it more profitable to ground the aircraft during the winter than to operate them.


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news