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Published on Monday, February 1, 2021

Ryanair set to post losses of nearly 1bn euros for 2021






Ryanair expects 2021 to be 'the most challenging year in its 35 year history' and expects to post a full year loss of nearly €1 billion.


The airline said Covid-19 continues to 'wreak havoc across the industry' and is 'cautiously guiding' a FY2021 net loss (pre-exceptional items) of between €850m and €950m.


However it remained optimistic that as the Covid-19 virus 'recedes' and as EU governments accelerate vaccine rollouts, Ryanair and its partner airports will 'rapidly restore schedules, recover lost traffic, help the nations of Europe to reboot their tourism industry and create jobs for young people across the cities and beaches of the EU'.


"We take some comfort from the success of the UK vaccine programme which is on target to vaccinate almost 50% of the UK population (30m) by the end of March.  The EU now needs to step up the slow pace of its rollout programme to match the UK's performance," it said in a statement.


The airline today reported a third quarter loss of €306m for the three months to December compared to a profit after tax of €88m for the same period a year before.


The number of passengers using Ryanair in the three months to December fell 78%, from 35.9m in 2019 to 8.1m for the same period in 2020, while revenue fell 82% from €1.91bn in 2019 to €0.34bn to the three months to December 2020.


Ryanair said its December traffic fell by 83% to 'just 1.9m passengers' due to flight bans and travel restrictions 'imposed at short notice by many EU Governments on the 19 and 20 December'. As announced in January, Ryanair expects the latest lockdowns and pre-arrival Covid test requirements to reduce flight schedules and traffic through Easter, reducing its full-year traffic forecast to 'between 26m and 30m' passengers.


The airline said a significant reduction in intra-European capacity over the next few years would create growth opportunities for Ryanair as it takes delivery of 210 new Boeing 737s.


Ryanair said it had concluded a four-year extension of its low-cost growth deal in Stansted to 2028. It has also secured EasyJet's seven-based aircraft slot portfolio in Stansted. It added that it was accelerating cabin crew training 'to facilitate a ramp-up of summer 2021 operations' to ensure that it is 'well placed to take up traffic recovery opportunities that arise throughout summer 2021 and beyond'.


"As we look beyond the Covid-19 crisis, and vaccinations roll out, the Ryanair Group expects to have a much lower cost base and a strong balance sheet, which will enable it to fund lower fares and add lower cost aircraft to capitalise on the many growth opportunities that will be available in all markets across Europe, especially where competitor airlines have substantially cut capacity or failed," it added.


"We will work assiduously with our airport and Government partners to restore routes and recover traffic for the benefit of our airports, our customers and our people as we try to prioritise the jobs and salary recovery of our people."


By Louise Longman, Contributing Editor (UK)

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