BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
Ryanair said on Monday that it had made a loss of €197 million in the
six months to the end of September and that it expects intra-European air
travel capacity to remain subdued for the next few years.
The airline’s loss compares with a profit of €1.15 billion
in the previous year. It said passenger
numbers had fallen to 17 million for the six months, down from 85.7
million in the same period in 2019.
The airline said that despite 99 per cent of its fleet being
grounded from mid-March to the end of June, the airline had managed to achieve a load
factor of 72 per cent in the half year.
It said, “Passenger
confidence and forward bookings into winter were negatively impacted by the
return of uncoordinated EU government flight restrictions in September and
October which heavily curtailed travel to/from much of Central Europe, the UK,
Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal.”
The company said that capacity this winter would be a
maximum of 40 per cent of last year.
“We expect intra-European air travel capacity to remain
subdued for the next few years. This
will create opportunities for Ryanair to grow its network, and expand its
fleet, to take advantage of lower cost airport and aircraft opportunities that
will inevitably arise,” it said.
The airline said it had negotiated “modest pay cuts with our
people and their unions” and agreed “better terms…with our maintenance
providers, lessors, marketing and other suppliers”.
It also renegotiated a number of airport deals.
“Our route development teams are working with airports
partners across Europe who have suffered steep traffic declines and discussions
are ongoing with aircraft suppliers to amend pricing to reflect the new
The airline also said it had issued €1.5
billion in cash refunds or vouchers due to the "unprecedented volume of customer flight changes and Covid-19 cancellations".
Speaking to BBC's Today programme earlier today, CEO Michael O'Leary said that the airline would not offer passengers refunds if a flight was operating, even if passengers were unable to fly because of lockdowns.
He said, "What customers can avail of is our change facility and we've waived the change fee so if they have booking in November they can change it and move it to December or January if needs be. But there won't be refunds on flights that are operating and travelling."