Ryanair posts first summer loss in decades

For the first time in thirty years Ryanair made a summer-season loss.

On Monday (Nov 2) it said COVID-19 restrictions had pulverized demand, and warned it may only carry half its normal passenger numbers next year.

Travel restrictions slashed Ryanair passenger numbers by 80% in the six months to the end of September.

That's the period when it typically makes most of its annual profit.

Instead, the airline recorded a $230 million loss.

The deficit was less than forecast, but Ryanair did not give a profit guidance for the full-year with potentially worse to come in the second half.

Ryanair's Chief Financial Officer told a radio station on Monday that it is planning to fly between 50% and 80% of its pre-pandemic capacity next year.

The airline has one of the industry's strongest balance sheets.

That helped bolster investor sentiment and the Irish company avoided the sharp drop in stock price seen by rivals in the wake of the announcement of a 4-week lockdown in England.

Shares in Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, rose 3% in early deals.

While British rivals easyJet and British Airways owner IAG each fell by around 2%.