Ryanair Posts Record Annual Losses Due to Pandemic Restrictions
Europe's largest budget carrier Ryanair announced a record annual loss, driven by shrinking travels due to pandemic restrictions, Reuters reported. The discount airline firm hopes to break even by the end of the current year, but it still remains uncertain when traveling will return to a full scale functioning and whether passengers will be more likely to spend money on air traveling. The slump of business activity forced Ryanair to cut capacity by some 80% and lay off some 1,000 people.
And while it has seen a "dramatic springback in bookings" in recent weeks, it has almost zero visibility for the rest of the year, Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said. "The likely outturn is that we are looking at something between a very small loss and break-even for the next 12 months but there are a lot of moving parts and there is a lot of uncertainty," O'Leary said in a video presentation. "Most of the uncertainty revolves around the timing of the recovery and the fares that people will pay into the key June, July, August, September travel period," he said. The airline reported an after-tax loss of 815 million euros in its financial year to 31 March, slightly better than the forecast loss of 834 million euros in a company poll of analysts.
"It's better than we predicted, but still a fairly traumatic loss for an airline that has been consistently profitable for our 35-year history," O'Leary said. Ryanair flew 27.5 million passengers to the end of March down from 149 million the previous year. O'Leary said his current estimate is that the airline would fly between 80 and 100 million in the year to 31 March, 2022. The airline is likely to fly just 5-6 million passengers in its April-June quarter, usually one of its busiest. The relaxation of travel restrictions in the UK has seen bookings triple in five weeks from 500,000 to 1.5 million per week, he said.
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