Ryanair Traffic Fell By Almost 50% In March

Ryanair Traffic Fell By Almost 50% In March

Ryanair Traffic Fell By Almost 50% In March

It reported 2020 traffic up 4% to 149 million passengers, but that was short of the 151 million it had expected as of March 10 and lower than its earlier target of 154 million.

The airline expects its fleet to remain largely grounded for at least April and May.

The 300 million euro exceptional charge it will take for 2020 relates to the ineffectiveness on its 2021 fuel hedges.

It has already implemented several measures to cut operating costs and improve liquidity, including aircraft grounding, share buyback suspensions and cutting all pay by 50% for April and May.

The wider airline industry faces one of the biggest crises in its history, sparking calls for government bailouts in Britain and around the world.

Ryanair's fiscal year ended March 31.

Ryanair said it was grateful to many European Union governments for their "foresight and speed of response in recognising that airlines are one of the most exposed industries" but emphasised that any such support must comply with European Union state aid rules.

Ryanair also pulled its guidance for the 2021 full year because of the "continued uncertainty on the impact and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic".

The budget airline group, which includes Austrian airline Lauda, said widespread flight bans and travel restrictions mean its flight numbers are now just 1% of normal levels.

Ryanair is scheduled to release its 2020 results on May 18.

"The priority here for us as a company is how do we preserve as much cash so that if we have to operate for three, six, nine, maybe even 12 months, with no flights and no revenues how do we survive that, do we have the cash to survive that and we believe we do", O'Leary told Financial Times.

The company has access to cash equivalents of €3.8bn and owns more than three-quarters of its 327-strong fleet, putting it in a relatively strong position as it seeks to ride the crisis out.

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