Ryanair has cut its profit expectations for the year to the end of March, after some online travel agents stopped selling its flights.
The airline reduced fares to fill seats in December after it said sites including Booking.com, Kiwi and Kayak suddenly removed its flights.
Ryanair said it expected profits of up to €1.95bn (£1.7bn), down from its forecast of up to €2.05bn in November.
A sharp increase in the airline’s fuel bill has also hit profits.
In the October to December quarter, its fuel costs jumped 35% to €1.2bn.
Online agents row
In January, Ryanair hit out against a number of online travel agents, including Booking.com, Kiwi and Kayak, after it said its flights had been suddenly removed from their websites.
Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers has been in a long-running dispute with online booking sites, after the airline launched legal action in the US against Booking.com owner Booking Holdings and its subsidiaries including Kayak, Agoda and Priceline.
It followed an Irish High Court ruling which banned screenscraper Flightbox from gathering Ryanair flight information for online travel agents.
The airline said the removal of its flights from the websites would increase the number of empty seats on its planes in the short term, and it dropped its direct booking prices in response.
In its latest set of results, Ryanair predicted an after-tax profit of between €1.85bn and €1.95bn for the year to the end of March, lower than a forecast of between €1.85bn and €2.05bn it made in November.
It said its revenue per paying passenger had been weaker than the previous year, blaming it on the removal of flights from online travel agents, despite its passenger numbers and fares being higher.
However, the airline’s chief financial officer, Neil Sorahan, told the Reuters news agency that the impact of being removed from some online agents’ sites would be temporary and was already beginning to “fizzle out”.
The after-tax figure would still beat its previous record annual after-tax profit of €1.45bn in 2018, and follows a boom in profits for the airline in November, after the airline hiked prices.
Ryanair said passenger numbers had risen 11% to a record 105.4 million in the six months to September, despite average fares rising by 24%.
The airline warned that the possibility of further delays in the delivery of new, more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Max 8 aircraft could also affect profits.
It also added that its full-year result remained heavily dependent on “avoiding unforeseen adverse events (such as the Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas conflict)”.