COVID Sends Ryanair Almost €200m into the Red- Company says Next Year will be “hugely challenging”.
Ryanair has suffered half-year losses of almost €200 million as the COVID-19 crisis grounded its entire fleet from mid-March until the end of June. Passenger numbers in the six months to September 30 fell 80% to 17 million from 86 million in the same period last year. Ryanair warned that the rest of the financial year will continue to be “hugely challenging”. The low-cost carrier also expects Brexit to cause “adverse trading consequences”.
While flights were resumed on July 1 at up to 60% of capacity, passenger confidence and forward bookings were “negatively impacted by the return of uncoordinated EU government flight restrictions in September and October”.
The curbs “heavily curtailed,” travel to and from much of central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal, Ryanair said while reporting a loss of €197 million for the period. As a result, the low-cost airline group recently cut its full-year traffic guidance to about 38 million passengers, with winter capacity cut to “at most” 40% of last year.
But the guidance could be further revised downwards if EU governments “continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions or lockdowns this winter”. The group expects to record even higher losses in the winter than in the six months to September.
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