Ryanair share price suffers sharp drop after it releases pessimistic traffic outlook

©Ryanair

Shares in Ryanair tumbled 8% as a consequence of Europe’s largest low-cost carrier announcing that it has reviewed its annual passenger target downwards by 25%, despite the figures for the lockdown quarter of April-June coming through at better-than-expected levels.

Having cut 99% of its capacity as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier posted a post-tax loss of €185 million (US$216.54 million) for the April-June quarter, the company’s first financial quarter for 2021-22.

Projections now show the carrier anticipates to fly 60 million passengers by March 31 2021, as opposed to a previously estimated 80 million, both figures massively down from the 149 million passengers it flew last year.

“Our full-year guidance of 60 million passengers is tentative at this point in time and it could go lower,” Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary announced in a video presentation. “A second wave of COVID-19 cases across Europe in late autumn … is our biggest fear right now,” he added. In addition to hub closures at Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin, unless cuts are agreed by staff, Spain and Italy hubs will also close.

The latest changes to British quarantine regulations in relation to passengers returning from Spain has further hit Ryanair. Revenue was down 95% in the first quarter, while costs were down by 85%, but it anticipates flying 60% of its normal schedule in August and 70% in September, while operating at 70% capacity for the months of August and September, according to O’Leary.

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