Ryanair on a high as it claws back €4.5 million from Chinese hackers

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has gone where few have gone before by actually succeeding in clawing back €4.5 million which Chinese criminals had hacked from them earlier this year.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary is on a high after clawing back money hacked off his company by Chinese fraudsters and seeing summer business rise by a quarter

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary is on a high after clawing back money hacked off his company by Chinese fraudsters and seeing summer business rise by a quarter Image by Niall Carson/PA Wire

The money vanished during what was described as “a fraudulent electronic transfer” in April to a Chinese bank. The fuel payment by the carrier in dollar currency disappeared after hackers managed to intercept the transaction.

Immediately Ryanair froze the fuel payment as it began the painstaking task of working with the authorities and bank to get the money back.

The London Independent reported that O’Leary was cock-a-hoop at the result in getting the money back and the carrier stressed that they had now taken steps so that there could not be a recurrence of such a fraud.

The good news surrounding Ryanair continues unabated with the Irish airline raising its projected profits for this year by 25% to almost €1.2 billion. The late summer spike in numbers is credited to the wet August that saw people decide on last minute holidays in the sun.

Mr O’Leary agreed that the bad weather and other favourable trends over the summer had helped the carrier predict this massive rise in its own performance. However he warned against "irrational exuberance" on the part of shareholders, saying that such favourable conditions probably wouldn’t last.

The confidence in Ryanair was reflected as its shares rose 90 cents to €13.84 (£10.09) having touched €14.25 in early trading – its best performance for 18 years.

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