Ryanair has summer profits in sight as travel to Europe picks up


Tourists sunbathe on a seaside beach in Saint-Malo, western France, in July

Photo credit: AFP

Ryanair Holdings said it expects to post a profit this quarter as the easing of coronavirus restrictions spurs an increase in travel to European beaches.

The peak summer season is expected to help bring Europe’s largest low-cost carrier to breakeven or a small loss for the year ending March, assuming vaccine deployments contain the pandemic, Ryanair said . The Irish company posted a lower than expected first quarter loss of 273 million euros, according to a statement released on Monday.

Ryanair has added seats faster than most of its competitors and kept fares low to fill planes as travel begins to pick up in Europe. The Dublin-based company said the number of passengers is expected to exceed 90 million in fiscal 2022, helping its attempt to gain market share, having previously predicted they would be closer to 80 million. Before the pandemic, Ryanair had transported around 150 million people.

Revenue from additions such as priority boarding and seat reservations will help support margins until demand fully recovers, CFO Neil Sorahan said. Bloomberg Television.

“We hope that in the second quarter we will make a profit,” he said. “A lot will depend on the end result, but we have a lot of hope heading into autumn as well. Germany and Central and Eastern Europe have been very strong.

Ryanair shares were up 2.3% at 8:07 am Dublin time. The stock has changed little this year.

The loss for the three months to June was slightly lower than analysts’ average estimate of € 277 million. Ryanair lost 185 million euros over the period last year as the hoped-for Easter traffic did not materialize.

Reduced fares

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said the outlook for passengers strengthens evidence that “the recovery is real and happening right now,” while calling the outlook for fiscal 2022 “cautious” . While summer income is essential, limiting winter losses will also be essential, he said.

Ryanair said the focus is now on aircraft filling and will reduce fares to help occupancy reach pre-Covid levels. The load factor in the first quarter was 73%, and Sorahan said the goal is to reach around 90% in the year, with prices strengthening towards the end of the period and through to the end of the period. ‘next summer.

The carrier announced this month that it will hire 2,000 pilots over the next three years to fly 210 new Boeing Co. 737 Max jets that it began taking in June.

Britain, Ryanair’s biggest market, remains a question mark. Frequent changes in travel restrictions combined with costly testing requirements have led people there to travel less this summer, although even there things are “picking up,” Sorahan said.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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