Ryanair profits rise despite mass cancellations

Markets Associated Press

Ryanair says first-half profit and passenger numbers increased even as the budget airline scrambled to correct pilot scheduling errors that cancelled thousands of flights and triggered 25 million euros ($29 million) in compensation costs.

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The Dublin-based carrier said Tuesday it handed out the compensation after some 700,000 customers were affected by the cancellations. Efforts to prevent a recurrence will add 45 million euros to pilot recruitment, training and compensation costs in the second half of the year.

Nonetheless, net income rose 11 percent to 1.29 billion euros for the six-month period ended Sept. 30. Ryanair shares rose 5 percent to 16.60 euros in early trading.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary says the results show Ryainair's strength "even during a period which suffered a material failure in our pilot rostering function."