Budget airline Ryanair said that it had lost £90.3 million but that passenger numbers had actually increased.
Ryanair said that its move into the red, in quarter three of 2008, was almost entirely due to the soaring price of oil.
Its average fare also fell by 9% to lure cost-conscious travellers.
Ryanair expects to make a profit this year
Ryanair predicts, though, that it will make a profit of between £44m and £71m this year as the price of oil has now collapsed amid the global economic downturn.
It also expects to cut fares by at least 10% in the coming financial year, and it’s trialling an on-board mobile phone service which, it hopes, will add to profits eventually.
Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said: ‘The general economic environment remains extremely difficult, as the recession saps consumer confidence, but this is proving to be good for Ryanair’s traffic growth, as more and more passengers switch to Ryanair’s lowest fare lowest cost model.’
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