Ryanair posts first quarterly profit since late 2019

Budget airline Ryanair reported its first quarterly profit since the pandemic disrupted travel.

After-tax profit was not disclosed but Europe's largest airline says even after that bright last quarter it expects to post an annual loss of over $230 million U.S dollars.

RyanAir also says it will be forced to discount tickets to fill its planes over the winter.

The Irish airline says it ran more flights this summer than its European rivals it says it counted almost 40 million passengers in the past six months.

Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary has said the pandemic offers the best growth opportunities of his three-decade career.

Ryanair's five-year growth target is also expected to hit 225 million passengers by 2026, well above the 200 million previously forecast.

The airline reiterated it expects to return to pre-COVID profitability in the year ending March 2023.

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