Ryanair announces Covid losses less than expected

The low-cost airline Ryanair has announced that the losses for Covid’s year will be slightly lower than initially assumed.

Net losses are now projected to be between 800 and 850 million euros (689 and 732 million pounds sterling), compared to previous projections of between 850 and 950 million euros (732 and 818 million pounds sterling), the airline said.

There was no need to adjust.

The bosses also said that Easter travel restrictions and the slow roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Europe had delayed the recovery in passenger numbers.

Given the delays in resuming international travel, bosses said they don’t expect traffic to fully recover this fiscal year. The expected passenger numbers are likely to be at the lower end of the previous forecasts between 80 and 120 million.

Passenger numbers fell to just 27.5 million as of March 31, compared to 149 million the previous year.

Ryanair said: “Easter travel restrictions / closings and a delayed recovery of traffic in the high season (summer) due to the slow roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in the EU mean traffic is likely at the lower end of our current guided range “.

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It added: “Although it is (currently) impossible to give meaningful (2021/22) earnings forecasts, we do not share the recent optimism of some analysts as we believe that the result for (2021/22) is currently close to break even. “

The update comes days after leading airline chiefs urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give them the green light to travel internationally within weeks.

The executives of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic, as well as the trade organization Airlines UK wrote the letter as ministers clarified that the outbound travel ban would apply at least until May 17.

Other bodies have also requested more clarity from the UK government.

When the restrictions are lifted, it will be replaced by a risk-based traffic light system with red, yellow and green ratings for countries around the world.

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