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Air fares set to fall after Ryanair reveals profit increase

Ryanair passenger numbers increased by 16% to 28 million. Credit: PA

Budget airline Ryanair hopes fares will fall later this year after announcing upbeat financial results.

The no-frills airline said lower oil prices and discounts by competitors should result in lower winter fares for customers.

The Irish carrier, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, saw its profits jump by 25% to £175 million in the first quarter of the year to the end of June, compared to the same period last year.

Passenger numbers also increased by 16% to 28 million during the period.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the airline would expand by 15% in the winter compared with last year as it opens new routes, adding he expected rivals to react by "putting downward pressure on fares".

Ryanair said it hopes to introduce new menus, interiors and staff uniforms this year, as well as begin flights to Israel, open bases in Berlin and Gothenburg and take delivery of 31 new aircraft.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the airline would expand by 15% in the winter compared with last year. Credit: PA

Our mix of low fares, best on time performance and enhanced customer experience under our 'Always Getting Better' programme, continues to attract millions of new customers.

At the same time our focus on cost enables us to pass on lower fares to customers.

– Michael O'Leary, Ryanair chief executive