Low-cost airline Ryanair said its latest quarterly profit was 21 percent lower than a year ago, but it did meet analysts’ expectations at 78 million euros.
Profit was hit by higher fuel costs, the timing of Easter and the impact of air traffic control strikes in France.
Ryanair benefited from an increase in so-called “ancillary” charges, particularly advance booking for specific seats on planes.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the uptake – passengers want reserved seats,” Chief Financial Officer Howard Millar said.
Ryanair – along with easyJet – has been also been able to exploit gaps in the market left by higher-cost rivals like British Airways and Air France-KLM recently cutting some of their short-haul routes.
The Dublin-based airline, best known for its no-frills service, maintained its forecast for earnings of 570-600 million euros in its full year to end-March 2014, versus last year’s record of 569 million euros.