Ryanair Posts Q1 Loss of €185mn; Fears a ‘Second Wave’ of the Pandemic

By Ankur Deo | July 27, 2020

The pandemic has hit several airlines quite severely. Ryanair has recently highlighted the scale of the effect the coronavirus has had on its operations. The airline reported a gargantuan loss of €185mn (£169m) for the first quarter of the current financial year. The carrier also warned that a second wave of the virus is its ‘biggest fear’, and the same can affect the aviation industry, as a whole, on a much bigger, and graver scale. The carrier had grounded almost all its aircraft for four months – starting March to the end of June, 2020.

©Irish Times

During the same period last year, the airline posted a profit of €243mn after taxes. A majority of the sales in current period for the airline came from medical and repatriation flights, most of which were on behalf of EU governments. The airline ferried just 500,000 passengers in the period from March-June, compared to 41.9 million during this time last year. 

The airline has restarted regular services on July 1, 2020, and has stated that it expects to operate 40% of its normal July schedule in this month, growing to 60% in the month of August and 70% in September. In a recent report, the airline also stated that its next fiscal 12 months ‘will be a very challenging year.’ In a statement, the airline mentioned:

‘It is impossible to predict how long the Covid-19 pandemic will persist, and a second wave of Covid-19 cases across Europe in late autumn (when the annual flu season commences) is our biggest fear right now.’

Ryanair expects the overall air traffic to drop by around 60% in 2020/2021 fiscal year, and the uncertainty around the pandemic shall not allow it to provide any firm speculations or guidance for the coming year.

©Al Jazeera

However, despite the stringent financial conditions, the airline still plans to accept the delivery of its first Boeing 737MAX aircraft by end of this year. Even though the aircraft has not been re-certified to fly, recent test flights have hinted that progress is being made, and the aircraft shall be able to operate commercially by end of the year.

It is indeed great to see that the Ryanair intends to add new, efficient aircraft to its fleet in the future, despite the the current losses. What are your opinions on Ryanair’s current financial condition? Do you see the carrier turning this adversity into an opportunity and making a profit any time in the coming quarters? Let us know in the comments!

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