By Rund Abdelfatah
RYANAIR has announced earnings of more than €900 million for the first half of the year.
The budget airline defied rising oil prices and the loss of 42,500 passengers by increasing airfares by an average of 16 per cent.
The figures are in stark contrast to those of rival IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, which lost €249 million in the first quarter of 2012.
New low cost airline Iberia Express received over 600,000 passengers, while Vueling and Air Nostrum benefitted from customers defecting from Iberia.
EasyJet saw a 7.2 per cent increase in passengers but has announced it will no longer fly to Madrid Barajas airport in response to Spain’s new airport tax.
Air Europe and Air Berlin reported losses and fewer passengers.