Sept. 4 - Ryanair could miss its full-year profit forecast thanks to weak bookings. It blames increased competition and austerity measures and as Hayley Platt reports the airline made no reference to recent media reports about safety records.
15% is today's daily digit - the drop in Ryanair's share price after a profit warning. The Irish airline fears it may not make it's full year target of 570 million euros. Europe's top budget airline normally beats expectations. But Ryanair says growing competition has forced it to cut airfares and routes. It also blames austerity in the euro zone despite a recent economic upturn. It made no reference to recent media reports about its safety record. But some believe that's at the root of its problems. Reuters' Breaking Views, Robert Cole. SOUNDBITE: Robert Cole, Assistant Editor, Reuters' Breaking Views, saying (English): "A high profile BBC programme might have instilled some doubts in customers minds about whether they want to go with Ryanair and maybe it's the absolutely the opposite of austerity. As thinks lighten a bit customers are saying well let's pay another 20 or 30 euros so we can get just a little bit of extra comfort." The airline said recent hot weather in northern Europe had also dented summer sales. And said bookings for this winter were down. To compensate it plans to cut capacity for the year by half a million to 81 million seats. And pursue a policy of 'aggressive seat sales' in Britain, Scandinavia, Spain and Ireland.