over 1 year ago • 3 mins
Ryanair reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Monday.
What does this mean?
Ryanair makes the bulk of its profit by flying sun-seeking Europeans everywhere from Mykonos to Rome over the summer period. Good thing, then, that a couple of factors helped Ryanair overcome staff shortage-induced delays and cancellations better than its flight-slashing rivals last quarter. For one, Europe’s biggest discount airline kept more of its crew on the payroll and more of its planes in the hangars to wait for the rebound it’s seeing now. And for another, it generally flies out of smaller, less congested airports that have been less affected than other major hubs. So in the end, Ryanair flew 46 million passengers last quarter, nearly six times as many as the same time last year. That helped it make a profit – the first time in the quarter for three years – of $174 million, a huge leap from the near $300 million loss it took in the same period last year. Looks like investors have a new favorite airline: they sent its stock up 6%.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: Even best laid plans…
Ryanair wants to use that momentum to win over more market share, so it plans to up the number of flights on offer this summer. But the outlook is clouded: it’s hard for the airline to predict long-term demand since cautious travelers are still making bookings last minute, and then there’s the ever-looming prospect of more Covid outbreaks during fall.
Zooming out: You can’t get the staff these days.
Airlines aren’t just struggling to replace staff they laid off during the pandemic: industry-wide strikes are also making it hard to keep operations going, with Lufthansa being the latest to face action this week. Ryanair’s trying to avoid that hassle: it’s already agreed with unions to reverse pay cuts for the majority of its pilots and crews, and thinks the rest should be settled soon.
Keep reading for our next story...
French satellite operator Eutelsat confirmed on Monday that it’s in talks to combine with smaller UK-based rival OneWeb.
What does this mean?
Eutelsat already bought 23% of OneWeb back in 2021, but looks like that wasn’t enough: the two are now discussing a so-called “merger of equals” deal, which would see their shareholders end up with a 50% stake in the combined company. If it goes ahead, the deal would help boost Eutelsat’s growth and offset its slumping satellite video business, while giving OneWeb the nearly $3 billion investment it needs to complete its network and update its technology.
The industry is big business: satellites are used for everything from internet communications to weather forecasting these days, and the satellite connectivity market is estimated to be worth around $16 billion by 2030. These talks could be a sign that the two companies – backed by the French and UK governments who see space communications as a strategic industry – are battling to keep their seat at the table of an increasingly competitive sector. After all, the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon’s Project Kuiper are launching new technology that can deliver connections faster since they’re closer to the ground.
Why should I care?
For markets: Back down to Earth…
Peeved investors sent Eutelsat’s stock down nearly 20% after the news: they likely think Eutelsat should have a higher ownership stake in the combined company, and they’ll know that the massive investment OneWeb needs will eat into shareholder returns. They might have a point: Eutelsat already boasts significant cash flows while OneWeb currently makes little to no revenue…
The bigger picture: We have eyes in space.
Space is about to get even busier: UAE’s government announced plans last week to set up a near $1 billion fund for satellites and its ambitious space program. The initiative aims to launch its first satellites in three years, designed to help detect things like oil spills, monitor ships, and aid search and rescue missions.
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