Airlines

Published on July 26th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer

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Ryanair Reports €273m Loss as Summer Bookings Look Strong

Ryanair has reported a loss of €273 Million during the first quarter of 2021. This is an increase on the €185 million loss during the first quarter of last year at the start of the pandemic. However, bookings for summer 2021 have been strong since the international travel restrictions have eased along with the rollout of the vaccine programme across Europe. Passenger numbers have increased year on year with just 500,000 travelling in the three months to 30th June 2020. This increased to 8,100,000 this year with a 73% load factor. Ryanair took delivery of their first Boeing 737-8200 in June and will have twelve delivered to the Group by early August. These offer 4% more seats but delivers 16% lower fuel burn and 40% lower noise emissions, which helps to meaningfully lower Ryanair’s CO₂ and noise footprint over the next decade. The increase in flights by Ryanair has continued throughout July, with the airline now the busiest in Europe with an average of nearly 2,200 flights operating per day in the third week of July. This is over 800 more than Turkish Airlines and 1,000 more than easyjet.

Ryanair Group CEO, Micheal O’Leary

Commenting on the figures, Ryanair Group CEO, Michael O’Leary said, “Covid-19 continued to wreak havoc on our business during Q1 with most Easter flights cancelled and a slower than expected easing of EU Government travel restrictions into May and June. Significant uncertainty around travel green lists (particularly in the UK) and extreme Government caution in Ireland meant that Q1 bookings were close-in and at low fares. We kept aircraft and crews current throughout the quarter and recruited additional cabin crew to enable us to recover quickly in Q2 as Covid restrictions ease. The 1st July rollout of EU Digital Covid Certificates (DCC) and the scrapping of quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to the UK from mid-July has seen a surge in bookings over recent weeks. Pricing remains below pre-Covid-19 levels and there will continue to be great value for Ryanair guests travelling this summer as we focus on recovering traffic, jobs and tourism across our European network. Based on current bookings, we expect traffic to rise from over 5 million in June to almost 9 million in July, and over 10 million in August, as long as there are no further Covid setbacks in Europe. We will continue our load active/yield passive strategy as we recover load factors over the course of Fiscal Year 22 (FY22).”

As Ryanair look forward to the year ahead, Michael O’Leary also commenting on the prospects for the year ahead, “The FY22 continues to be challenging, with Covid-19 travel restrictions prolonging uncertainty.  Following the 1st July rollout of EU DCC’s (and the relaxation of the UK’s quarantine rules) for fully vaccinated persons, our Group has seen Quarter 2 bookings recover strongly (albeit at low fares). With the booking curve remaining very close-in and fares well below pre-Covid-19 levels, visibility for the remainder of FY22 is close to zero. It, therefore, remains impossible to provide meaningful FY22 guidance at this time. We believe that FY22 traffic has improved to a range of 90m to 100m (previously guided at the lower end of an 80m to 120m passenger range) and expect that the likely outcome for FY22 is somewhere between a small loss and breakeven. This is dependent on the continued rollout of vaccines this summer, and no adverse Covid variant developments. As we look beyond the Covid-19 recovery, and the successful completion of vaccination rollouts, the Ryanair Group expects to have a materially lower cost base, a very strong balance sheet industry-leading leading traffic recovery. Our new Boeing 737 “Gamechanger” aircraft will reduce fleet costs and unit costs (thanks to its attractive pricing, higher seat density and 16% lower fuel burn) for the next decade. They will enhance revenue opportunities with 4% more seats, enabling the Group to fund lower fares and capitalise on the many growth opportunities that are now available across Europe, especially where competitor airlines have substantially cut capacity or failed. We are seeing a strong rebound of pent up travel demand into August & September and we expect this to continue into the second half of FY22, pre-Covid-19 growth planned to resume strongly in summer 2022.”

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