Ryanair woes threaten Swedish airports

Irish airline Ryanair's 85 percent year-on-year drop in profits reported on Monday could affect Swedish airports, according to Dagens Industri. Stockholm Skavsta Airport relies on Ryanair for 90% of its traffic.

Ryanair woes threaten Swedish airports

Irish airline Ryanair’s reported on Monday that its pre-tax profits had crashed to 200 million kronor ($33.4 million) in the second quarter, down 85 percent on the corresponding period of last year.

Ryanair’s report is a sobering read for many regional Swedish airports which have surfed the wave of Ryanair’s recent success and expansion.

Skavsta airport, south of Stockholm, relies on Ryanair for 90 percent of its traffic and has seen massive development in recent years with a new hotel and terminal buildings.

“If you put all your eggs in one basket then the exposure to risk is high,” said Anders G Högmark of the association of Swedish regional airports (Svenska Regionala Flygplatsförbundet) to Dagens Industri.

Ryanair is a company used to bumper profits and Anders G Högmark expects the company leadership to enforce a savings program in order to turn the figures around.

Högmark told Dagens Industri that there is little scope for rationalizing costs or introducing any further charges and so he expects Ryanair to make cuts in less profitable routes. Many of these cuts could affect routes from Sweden, Högmark argues.

Stockholm Skavsta MD, Dot Gade, is not overly concerned about Ryanair’s plans, although she is acutely aware of the airport’s reliance on the airline.

“When you have such an important client of course we notice if things are not going so well for them, ” Gade said to Dagens Industri, adding, “if there is one airline that will survive and prosper, it is Ryanair.”


Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

Ryanair's pilots in Sweden went on strike on August 10th, with several flights cancelled at Skavsta.

Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike
Ryanair flights cancelled on Friday at Skavsta Airport. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Pilots in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands also joined the 24-hour strike over demands for a collective labour agreement and better working conditions and representation.

In Sweden, around 40 Ryanair pilots were striking until midnight between Friday and Saturday.

“Today our members are on strike to demand their rights. For decades Ryanair has refused their employees basic labour rights most employees on the labour market take for granted, but here a strike is necessary to show the airline that it no longer can avoid treating its employees in a dignified manner,” Martin Lindgren, President of the Swedish Pilots' Union, said in a statement.

Twenty-two flights which were due to depart or travel to Skavsta Airport south of Stockholm on Friday.

The airport usually welcomes around 700 travellers for the first few departures of the day, but on Friday morning the building was almost completely empty, news agency TT reported.

“We want to again apologize to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes,” tweeted Ryanair.

Compensation can be claimed for some cancelled flights but it varies and depends on how much information was given in advance. For journeys under 1500km a maximum of €250 can be claimed (or €400 for flights between 1500 and 3,000km), but in the event that the airline directly warned passengers of their flight cancellation with 15 days' notice, there is no right to request economic compensation. More information can be found here