Ryanair Records €815m Annual Loss
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, has reported record losses of €815m (£702m) for its last financial year – devastated by the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The company said its loss after tax performance over the 12 months to 31 March compared to profits of just over €1bn in the previous year and was a consequence of passenger numbers slumping by 81% from 149 million passengers to just 27.5 million.
The Ireland-based low-cost airline said in a statement it expects to benefit from a “strong rebound of pent up travel demand” through the second half of 2021
It is looking to returning to pre-Covid growth in summer 2022 with the help of the delivery of Boeing 737 “Gamechanger” aircraft and new bases in Billund, Riga, Stockholm, Zadar and Zagreb. It described the financial year as “the most challenging” in the firm’s 35-year history due to the pandemic.
“There was a partial recovery during summer 2020, as initial lockdowns eased, however a second Covid-19 wave in Europe followed quickly in the autumn with a third wave in spring,” Ryanair said in a statement.
“This created enormous disruptions and uncertainty for both our customers and our people, as they suffered constantly changing Government guidelines, travel bans and restrictions. Ryanair responded promptly, and effectively, to this crisis, by working hard to assist millions of customers with flight changes, refunds and changed travel plans.” The statement added
“We minimised job losses through agreed pay cuts and participation in Government job support schemes, while at the same time keeping our pilots, cabin crew and aircraft current and ready to resume service once normality returns.” The statement concluded.
Ryanair said bookings had started to pick up in April in anticipation of a cautious reopening of the skies but said it did not see a recovery in pre-COVID demand until the summer of 2022 assuming vaccine programmes remained on track.
While the company again hit out at “state aid” handed to some of its rivals during the crisis, saying it would prop them up and distort the market for years to come, it declared that the arrival of 210 new planes would help boost its competitiveness.