Ireland's Ryanair Holdings PLC RYA.I on Monday posted a loss for its key summer period for the first time in decades, and warned that the COVID-19 crisis could force further cuts and leave capacity next summer as little as half of normal levels, APA reports citing Reuters.
Europe’s largest low-cost airline said COVID-19 restrictions had pushed passenger numbers down 80% in the six months ended Sept. 30, when it typically makes most of its annual profit.
Instead, it posted a loss of 197 million euros (178.2 million pounds) for the first half of its financial year, from a profit of 1.15 billion in the year-ago period. A company poll of analysts had on average forecast a loss of 244 million euros.
The airline, whose Chief Executive Michael O’Leary in September described the upcoming winter as a “write-off”, declined to forecast profit for the full financial year ending March 31, but said it expected a second-half loss greater than the first.
Ryanair reaffirmed plans to fly 38 million passengers this financial year compared with the 149 million last year, but warned that the number could fall further “if EU governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions”.