Ryanair (RYAY 2.13%) It flew more passengers than expected during the holiday season, leading Europe’s budget airlines to forecast for the year. Ryanair’s stock enjoyed a unique “Santa Claus rally” as a result, rising as much as 12% for him in a week, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The focus of holiday season travel in the US was on weather-related delays, while skies were noticeably smoother in Europe. Ireland-based airline Ryanair on Wednesday raised its full-year earnings forecast, saying strong Christmas and New Year demand will boost earnings.
Ryanair said it expects to report a profit of between 1.325 billion euros and 1.425 billion euros for the current financial year ending in March.
In a statement, Ryanair said: “For the first time in three years holiday season travel demand increased without the negative impact of COVID-19 or the war in Ukraine, resulting in higher than expected traffic and fares during the Christmas/New Year peak hours. He said. .
Ryanair flew 11.5 million passengers in December, a 21% year-on-year increase. In the last 12 months, the airline flew his 160.4 million passengers, a 121% increase from the previous period.
Investors will be able to learn more on January 30, when Ryanair plans to release full results for its recently completed third quarter. But after a pandemic-related lull, air travel seems to be finally picking up in Europe.
If so, there may still be room for Ryanair to fly higher. Even after this week’s rally, the stock is down 22.9% from last year. The first attempt at a European “resume rally” was thwarted by the war in Ukraine. If Ryanair is right, the European travel industry may finally be back to business as usual after years of trouble.
Lou Whiteman has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no positions in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool’s U.S. headquarters has a disclosure policy.