Ryanair records 197 million euro loss and expects higher deficits

Ryanair said is preparing for a “hugely challenging” period to continue as it reported a loss of 197 million euro (£178 million) in the first half of the year.

And the Ireland-based low-cost airline said it “expects to record higher losses” in the second half of the year, despite having a lower cost base and a stronger balance sheet.

Coronavirus saw 99% of the carrier’s fleet grounded for four months between mid-March and the end of June.

The company said traffic in the first half of the year fell from 86 million to 17 million passengers compared with the same period last year, around 80%.

Its revenue dropped 78% to 1.18 billion euros (£1.06 billion), while the loss in this half year contrasts with a profit after tax of 1.15 billion euros (£1.04 billion) in the first half of last financial year.

With almost no traffic in the first quarter of the year, the “vast majority” of the first half of the year’s revenue was earned in the second quarter, the firm said.

It added: “Given the current Covid-19 uncertainty, Ryanair cannot provide FY21 PAT (profit after tax) guidance at this time.

“The Group expects to carry approx. 38m passengers in FY21, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU Govts continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions or lock downs this winter.”