Irish no-frills airline Ryanair Holdings PLC yesterday said that it sank into the red in the first half of its fiscal year due to the COVID-19 fallout and warned of more losses to come.
Ryanair suffered an after-tax loss of 197 million euros (US$229 million) in the six months to September, which contrasted with a year-earlier net profit of 1.15 billion euros, it said in a results statement.
The Dublin-based carrier warned that it “expects to record higher losses” in the second half of the current 2020-2021 fiscal year, despite falling costs and a stronger balance sheet.
“COVID-19 grounded the group’s entire fleet from mid-March to the end of June, as EU governments imposed flight or travel bans and widespread population lockdowns,” the airline said.
The pandemic decimated demand for air travel and sparked major economic turmoil, which has left global airlines fighting for survival.
Ryanair said traffic nosedived about 80 percent to 17.1 million passengers in the reporting period, compared with 86 million a year earlier.
Revenue tanked 78 percent to 1.2 billion euros, almost all of which were earned in the second quarter following a “successful” return to service at the start of July.
However, the aviation sector is now reeling once more from a deadly second wave of COVID-19, which has sparked renewed travel restrictions, quarantine rules and lockdowns.
Ryanair earlier this month announced that it would slash more flights this winter, and temporarily shut bases in Cork and Shannon in Ireland, and Toulouse in France.
The group expects to slash its November-March winter capacity from 60 percent to “at least” 40 percent of the prior year.
Turning to the outlook, Ryanair said that it would not provide annual earnings guidance due to the uncertain path of the virus — but warned it would be a “hugely challenging year” for the group.
“The group expects to carry approximately 38 million passengers in 2020/2021, although this guidance could be further revised downwards” in the event of more travel restrictions and lockdowns over the winter period, the airline said.
The rest of the year would be “significantly” affected by a host of factors, including Brexit uncertainty, airline pricing, fuel costs, competition from existing and new carriers, government actions — and the willingness of passengers to travel, the airline added.
Ryanair also slammed EU governments for what it described as a “flood of illegal state aid” to help major airlines struggling in the pandemic crisis.
The group said this would “distort competition and allow failed flag carriers to engage in below-cost selling for many years.”
Ryanair is cutting 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, or 15 percent of staff, mirroring moves by airlines globally to save cash in the face of collapsing demand.
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced plans to buy a New York office building for US$2.1 billion, confirming its push into the US’ largest city despite the COVID-19 teleworking trend. This is the largest real-estate purchase in the US for an office building since the beginning of the global spread of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal quoted Real Capital Analytics as saying. Google already rents the premises in Manhattan, which are located on the site of a former railroad terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Silicon Valley giant envisions a campus with a total surface area of 160,000m2 by mid-2023
‘CORE VALUES’: The contract chipmaker did not specify why the employees were dismissed, but media reports said they had leaked information about customer orders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has fired seven of its employees for violating the company’s “core values,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. While the company did not disclose exactly why it fired the seven employees, local media reports earlier in the day said that the employees had leaked confidential information about customer orders. In a statement, the company said that it fired the seven at once, adding that it released an internal notice last week to inform the entire company of the move ahead of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holilday, which ended on Tuesday. TSMC said it fired the seven
MILD ADJUSTMENT: Two previous efforts failed to curtail mortgage financing, although the new measures should not affect property prices, the central bank governor said The central bank yesterday tightened credit controls for second-home mortgages in specific areas and purchases of plots of land, especially in industrial parks. However, the nation’s top monetary policymaker kept its policy rate at a record-low 1.125 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, despite revising up its GDP growth forecast for this year from 5.08 percent to 5.75 percent. “Board members factored in economic uncertainty at home and around the world,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said, adding that growing inflationary pressure was a temporary phenomenon induced by bad weather and a low base effect for oil prices. International fuel price increases
DOWNCYCLE: Most buyers are wary about placing new orders, and although the decline could also be as little as 3%, it would be the first drop since the start of the year The average selling price of DRAM chips next quarter is expected to decline by up to 8 percent quarter-on-quarter, with memory chips used in notebook computers and consumer electronics seeing the steepest decline due to excess inventory and a shortage of components, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means the DRAM industry is entering a new downcycle after experiencing a boom for three quarters, the longest uptrend in the history of the industry. The Taipei-based researcher said it expects the balance between supply and demand to begin tilting toward a surplus in the final quarter of this year. Most DRAM