Ryanair: Financial officer predicts surge in passengers
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Ryanair bosses have raised their full-year results prediction to correlate with an anticipated boost in bookings over the summer months. It comes as holiday bookings surge across Europe thanks to the launch of the EU Digital Covid Pass for travel.
The airline expects to fly 10 million passengers in August alone, helping aid recovery from the Covid-pandemic.
Though the Irish carrier reported an after-tax loss of €273million in the first quarter, traffic rebounded from half a million to 8.1 million throughout May and June.
Speaking on BBC News, Neil Sorhan, Ryanair’s chief financial officer said: “At Ryanair, we operate in 37 countries across Europe.
“The European Digital Covid Certificate was rolled out on July 1.
“And that has given a huge amount of confidence across Europe.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in bookings over the past number of weeks and indeed even in the UK we have seen a large rise in bookings although there is a little bit of uncertainty there.”
The airline aims to carry as many as 100 million customers by the end of the year.
According to Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, ticket pricing remains “below pre-Covid levels”.
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“The July 1 rollout of EU Digital Covid Certificates and the scrapping of quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to the UK from mid-July has seen a surge in bookings over recent weeks,” he said in a statement.
“Pricing remains below pre-Covid-19 levels and there will continue to be great value for Ryanair guests travelling this summer as we focus on recovering traffic, jobs and tourism across our European network.”
Mr Sorhan added: “I think it will be great value for customers who want to go on holiday this year.”
Industry bosses have suggested Ryanair is the European airline in the best position to make a full recovery.
“Ryanair is doing better than anyone else in Europe at the moment,” said John Grant, director of OAG.
“They have a very simple model and a very low-cost base and they’ve got literally hundreds of bases all around Europe so they are completely de-risked and not vulnerable to just one government minister closing down a country again.”
As Covid cases surge across Europe, some rules are being reimposed in countries such as Spain.
However, Ryanair’s chief financial officer says the airline is “confident” travel will resume.
“We have got the lowest cost base of any Airline in Europe and unlike most other airlines we kept all of our pilots, cabin crew and our aircraft current throughout the crisis,” said Mr Sorhan.
“We will continue to do so because that has enabled us to ramp up quickly throughout the summer and beyond.
“I take huge confidence from the fact vaccines are proving to be very effective against the various variants of Covid.
“As we get towards the back end of this summer in September we’re looking at potentially over 80 percent of the European population fully vaccinated and that will rise as the year goes on.
“I think we are well set for passenger numbers to continue to rise and a big growth into the summer next year.”Though the Irish carrier reported an after-tax loss of €273million in the first quarter, traffic rebounded from half a million to 8.1 million throughout May and June.
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