Ryanair optimistic despite huge annual loss reaching over €1 billion

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Ryanair reports an €815 million net loss excluding exceptional items in the last fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2021. Hard hit by the pandemic and the loss of travel demand that resulted from it, the Irish low-cost carrier plunged in the red. 

Its number of passengers transported dropped by 81%, from 148.6 million customers the previous fiscal year to 27.5 million. Revenue also fell by 81%, from €8.49 billion to €1.64 billion. Including exceptional items and losses related to ineffective fuel hedges, the loss amounted to just over €1 billion.

“FY21 was the most challenging in Ryanair’s 35-year history,” read the company’s statement. “COVID-19 saw traffic collapse, almost overnight, from 149 million [customers] to just 27.5 million as many European Govts. (with little notice or co-ordination) imposed flight bans, travel restrictions, and national lockdowns.”

As a consequence, Ryanair cut around 3,000 jobs or 15% of its workforce throughout the year. 

However, banking on the collapse of several European airlines throughout the pandemic, including Flybe, Level, or Germanwings, Ryanair expects “intra-European air travel capacity to remain significantly lower” in the years to come, which could create new opportunities for the low-cost carrier. 

The Irish airline is hopeful that the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in Europe could kickstart a recovery in demand as early as summer 2021. 

“If, as is presently predicted, most European populations are vaccinated by September [2021], then we believe that we can look forward to a strong recovery in air travel, jobs and tourism in H2 of the current fiscal year (FY22),” the financial report read. “The recent strong increases in weekly bookings since early April suggests that this recovery has already begun.”


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