Irish no-frills airline Ryanair Holdings PLC yesterday announced a narrowing of losses during its first half as the lifting of travel restrictions saw passenger traffic more than double.
Ryanair’s net loss for the six months to the end of September came in at 48 million euros (US$55.54 million), which compared to a loss after tax of 411 million euros a year earlier.
The Dublin-based carrier that flies mainly throughout Europe said in its earnings statement that the group’s recovery primarily occurred during its second quarter, or three months to the end of September.
“Following a very badly disrupted first quarter, which saw most Easter flights canceled and a slower than expected easing of EU government travel restrictions ... traffic rebounded in Q2 with the successful rollout” of the EU’s vaccine passport, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said.
Ryanair said its passenger numbers soared by 128 percent to 39.1 million in its first half.
Revenue increased 83 percent to 2.15 billion euros.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a surge in bookings for the October mid-term [school] and Christmas breaks and we expect this peak buoyancy to continue into Easter,” O’Leary said.
It still expects a full-year loss of 100 million to 200 million euros.
The company recently announced plans to create more than 5,000 jobs over the next five years as the aviation sector recovers. It was among the airlines that cut thousands of jobs last year as COVID-19 grounded planes.
The industry has since been boosted by the lifting of international travel restrictions — with full reopenings held back by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Ryanair said it is considering exiting the London Stock Exchange amid a material decline in share volumes in the wake of Britain’s split from the EU.
O’Leary said the step is an “inevitable consequence of Brexit” and the regulatory requirements the split presented, while chief financial officer Neil Sorahan said that less than 10 percent of shares are now traded through London.
In December last year, it banned non-EU citizens, including Britons, from buying its ordinary shares and eliminated the voting rights of holders.
In September, it forced the sale of 1 million shares purchased since the breakup out of compliance with its ownership rules.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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