Ryanair Holdings has reported a full year loss of €815m as traffic fell 81 per cent as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The airline’s  full-year 2021 (FY21) revenue fell by 81 per cent to €1.64bn, in line with the fall in traffic to just 27.5m from 149m (pre Covid-19).  Ancillary revenue delivered a “solid performance” as more guests chose priority boarding and reserved seating, resulting in an 11 per cent increase in per passenger spend to almost €22. Due to an 81 per cent reduction in traffic and aircraft delivery delays, the Group recorded a €200m ineffectiveness charge on fuel and currency hedges in FY21.

    In its full year report it said that 2021 “was the most challenging in Ryanair’s 35-year history.  Covid-19 saw traffic collapse, almost overnight, from 149m to just 27.5m as many European Govts. (with little notice or co-ordination) imposed flight bans, travel restrictions and national lockdowns. There was a partial recovery during summer 2020, as initial lockdowns eased, however a second Covid-19 wave in Europe followed quickly in the autumn with a third wave in spring.  This created enormous disruptions and uncertainty for both our customers and our people, as they suffered constantly changing Govt. guidelines, travel bans and restrictions.

    “We expect intra-European air travel capacity to be materially lower for the foreseeable future.  This will create opportunities for Ryanair to extend airport growth incentives, as the Group takes delivery of 210 new (lower cost) Boeing 737s.  We are encouraged by the recent release of multiple Covid-19 vaccines and hope that their rollout will facilitate the resumption of intra-Europe air travel and tourism this summer.  If, as is presently predicted, most European populations are vaccinated by Sept., then we believe that we can look forward to a strong recovery in air travel, jobs and tourism in H2 of the current fiscal year (FY22),” the report concluded.

    Key points included:

    • FY21 traffic fell 81 per cent from 149m to 27.5m due to Covid-19 restrictions.
    • Liquidity preservation prioritised with €3.15bn cash at year end (31 Mar.).
    • Cost reductions implemented across all Group airlines.
    • Backlog of Covid customer requests/refunds processed.
    • Job losses minimised via engagement with people & unions.
    • B737-8200 “Gamechanger” firm order increased to 210 aircraft (from 135).
    • CDP awarded very strong (first time) “B-” climate protection score.
    • Non-EU shareholder voting rights were restricted post Brexit.