As a result of strong bookings for this summer, Ryanair reported a slightly smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and raised its full-year traffic forecast on Monday. However, its fares remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
Low-cost airline Ryanair now expects to carry between 90 million and 100 million passengers in the fiscal year ending March 2022, up from an earlier forecast of 80 million to 100 million.
For the first quarter of its fiscal year 2021-2022, the group lost 273 million euros, while analysts polled by the company expected a loss of 283 million.
Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement that while it remains impossible to provide an accurate profit forecast for the current fiscal year, the group expects to post a small loss or return to breakeven.
According to the executive, Ryanair expects to carry 9 million passengers in July, at the upper end of its previous forecast of 7 million to 9 million, and 10 million in August.
COVID-19-related travel restrictions across Europe have crippled the industry, but Ryanair expects a “strong recovery” this winter and next summer as its competitors reduce capacity.
The airline, which has one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry, said it had cash reserves of €4.06 billion, up from €3.15 billion at the end of March, after issuing a €1.2 billion bond in May.
Neil Sorohan, Ryanair’s CFO, also told Reuters in an interview that the group could order 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this year if the cost is right.