Ryanair, Europe’s biggest discount airline, says earnings for the current fiscal year are likely to be “close to breakeven” as continued travel restrictions delay its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pessimistic outlook came as the airline said Wednesday that the airline industry is facing a delayed recovery going into the peak summer season because of the slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the European Union.
“While it is not possible, at this time, to provide meaningful (the fiscal year 2022) profit guidance, we do not share the recent optimism of certain analysts as we believe that the outcome for FY22 is currently close to breakeven,” the company said in a statement.
Ryanair’s passenger traffic fell 81.5% to 27.5 million passengers in the fiscal year ended March 31 as lockdown orders and travel restrictions forced people to stay home. The airline said it expects traffic for the current year to be near the lower end of its previously forecast range of 80 million to 120 million passengers.
The airline said Wednesday that it expects to report a net loss of between 800 million euros ($950 million) and 850 million euros ($1 billion) for the 12 months through March. That’s an improvement over its previous forecast for a loss of between 850 million euros and 950 million euros.
Ryanair will report earnings for the 2021 fiscal year on May 17.