Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has returned to profitability in the first quarter of FY2023. However, the airline warned of the ‘fragile’ state of the air travel market and the risk of potential new COVID-19 variants in the autumn.
In Q1 FY2023, Ryanair posted a profit after tax (PAT) of €170 million ($173 million), an increase compared to a loss of €273 million ($279 million) in Q1 FY2022. The positive financial results were attributed to strong air travel demand.
During the quarter, Ryanair took deliveries of 73 Boeing 737 MAX 8200 aircraft to meet the demand for air travel during the busy summer period.
Despite Q1 being profitable, Ryanair has warned about the ‘fragile’ state of the airline industry, stating that “the strength of any recovery will be hugely dependent upon there being no adverse or unexpected developments over the remainder of FY23”.
“While we remain hopeful that the high rate of vaccinations in Europe will allow the airline and tourism industry to fully recover and finally put Covid behind us, we cannot ignore the risk of new Covid variants in Autumn 2022,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said.
Looking ahead, the airline has limited visibility into the second half of Q2 and almost zero visibility into H2 due to volatile oil prices, potential COVID-19 outbreaks, geopolitical tensions and the risk of supply chain bottlenecks. Therefore, Ryanair expects to provide a financial outlook in the half-year financial report.
In addition, Ryanair expects to increase its FY2023 traffic to 165 million passengers, an increase by 11% compared to the pre-pandemic levels.