LONDON: Irish no-frills airline Ryanair on Monday 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 ($55 million), compared with a loss-after-tax of 411 million euros a year ago.
The Dublin-based carrier that flies mainly throughout Europe added 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 cancelled and a slower-than-expected easing of [the] EU government travel restrictions… traffic rebounded in Q2 [second quarter] with the successful rollout” of the European Union’s vaccine passport, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said.
Ryanair said its passenger numbers soared 128 per cent to 39.1 million in its first-half. The revenue jumped 83 per cent 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.
But Ryanair nevertheless expects a full-year loss of between 100 million euros and 200 million euros.
“This outturn will be crucially dependent on the continued rollout of vaccines and no adverse Covid-19 developments,” O’Leary added.
Ryanair recently announced plans to create more than 5,000 jobs over the next five years, as the aviation sector recovers.
Airlines, including Ryanair, axed thousands of jobs in 2020, as the deadly pandemic grounded planes.
The industry has since been boosted by the lifting of international travel restrictions, with full re-openings held back by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.