Ryanair said it is likely to break even in its new financial year as Europe starts to get fully vaccinated after the airline plunged to a loss of €815m during the Covid crisis.
Airlines were among the worst hit industries during the Covid pandemic and many companies in Europe required significant government bailouts, soft public loans, and government support schemes for their staff.
A large number of passengers have also complained about difficulties over receiving full refunds from European airlines during the crisis.
Ryanair has argued that its €3.1bn in cash reserves and its large order for the highly efficient Boeing 732-8200, or Max planes, will help it bolster its market share as European aviation returns to some sort of health.
In earnings for its financial year which runs to the end of March, Ryanair said it expected air travel capacity “to be materially lower” for some time and full recovery will pivot on the rollout of vaccines.
“If as presently predicted, most European populations are vaccinated by September, then we believe that we can look forward to a strong recovery in air travel, jobs, and tourism in H2 of the current financial year,” it said.
“The recent strong increases in weekly bookings since early April suggests that this recovery has already begun,” the airline said.
Ryanair again said it will have cost advantages over financially weaker rivals as it takes delivery of the first of those 210 planes it has ordered from Boeing.
The airline said it had processed an “unprecedented backlog” of Covid customer queries and refunds.
It said it expects its shareholder base to continue to change to reflect the EU ban on non-EU investors buying European airline shares, a restriction which extends to the UK following Brrexit.
Ryanair posted a net loss of €815m in 12 months to the end of March which sharply contrasts with the profit of €1bn a year earlier.
Revenues slumped to €1.64bn from €8.5bn in the previous year.