Category Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair’s December traffic was down 83% to only 1.9 million passengers

Ryanair Holdings plc released its December traffic statistics as follows:








Ryanair Group 11.2m 1.9m -83%
Rolling Annual 152.4m 52.1m  (81% LF) -66%


Ryanair operated approximately 22% of our normal December schedule with a 73% load factor.

Ryanair orders 75 additional Boeing 737 MAX jets

Ryanair and Boeing announced today that Europe’s largest airline is placing a firm order for 75 additional 737 MAX airplanes, increasing its order book to 210 jets. Ryanair again selected the 737 8-200, a higher-capacity version of the 737-8, citing the airplane’s additional seats and improved fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

“As soon as the COVID-19 virus recedes – and it likely will in 2021 with the rollout of multiple effective vaccines – Ryanair and our partner airports across Europe will – with these environmentally efficient aircraft – rapidly restore flights and schedules, recover lost traffic and help the nations of Europe recover their tourism industries, and get young people back to work across the cities, beaches and ski resorts of the European Union,” O’Leary said.

Ryanair is the launch customer for the high-capacity 737-8 variant, having placed its first order for 100 airplanes and 100 options in late 2014, followed by firm orders of 10 airplanes in 2017 and 25 in 2018. The 737 8-200 will enable Ryanair to configure its aircraft with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential, and reduce fuel consumption by 16 percent compared to the airline’s previous airplanes.

Ryanair reports reports first half loss of €197 million as traffic falls 80% to 17 million

Ryanair Holdings plc has reported a first half loss of €197 million $229.4 million), compared to a previous year profit of €1.15 billion. Highlights of this 6-month period include:

  • 99% of the fleet grounded from mid-March to end June.
  • Successful return to service implemented 1 July.
  • H1 traffic fell from 86m to 17m.
  • Cost reduction measures implemented across business.
  • Successful €1.25bn financing raised in Sep. (equity placing & eurobond).
  • Cash prioritised. Closing cash €4.5bn.
  • Over €1.5bn debt due in 2021 (incl. £600m UK CCFF & €850m Jun’14 bond).


H1 (IFRS) – Group* 30 Sep. 2019 30 Sep. 2020 Change
Customers 85.7m 17.1m -80%
Load Factor 96% 72% -24pts
Revenue €5.39bn €1.18bn -78%
Op. Costs €4.10bn €1.35bn -67%
PAT/(Net Loss) €1.15bn (€197m) n/m

* excl. €214m except. hedge ineffectiveness charge.



COVID-19 grounded the Group’s entire fleet from mid-March to the end of June as EU Governments imposed flight or travel bans and widespread population lockdowns.  During this crisis, Group airlines repatriated customers and operated rescue flights for many EU Governments.  The Group implemented extensive health measures, especially onboard aircraft, to comply with EU guidelines (ECDC & EASA) and on 1 July successfully resumed flights across most of our route network operating up to 60% of prior year capacity in Q2 achieving over 70% load factors.  Passenger confidence and forward bookings into W.20 were negatively impacted by the return of uncoordinated EU Govt flight restrictions in Sep. and Oct. which heavily curtailed travel to/from much of Central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal.  As a result, Ryanair recently cut its FY21 traffic guidance to approx. 38m guests. This takes the Group’s W.20 (Nov-Mar) capacity down from the previously guided 60% to at most 40% of prior year traffic.

Ryanair’s Customer Service teams (supported by Ryanair Labs) have cleared an unprecedented volume of customer flight changes and COVID-19 cancellations, while processing a record backlog of refunds caused by almost 4 months of EU Government imposed flight cancellations.  This process was frustrated by unlicensed OTAs, many of who provided false customer contact and fake payment details at the time of booking.  Despite the enormity of the task, almost all non-OTA refund requests have now been dealt with either via cash refunds or vouchers.

The COVID-19 crisis has already caused the closure of a number of EU airlines including Flybe, Germanwings and Level as well as deep long-term capacity reductions at many others.  It has sparked a flood of illegal State Aid from EU Governments to their flag carriers including Alitalia, Air France/KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS, TAP and others.  This illegal State Aid will distort competition and allow failed flag carriers to engage in below cost selling for many years.  We expect intra-European air travel capacity to remain subdued for the next few years.  This will create opportunities for Ryanair (Europe’s lowest cost airline) to grow its network, and expand its fleet, to take advantage of lower cost airport and aircraft opportunities that will inevitably arise.



Revenue & Costs

Revenue fell by 78% to €1.18bn as traffic fell 80% to 17.1m.  With almost zero Q1 traffic, the vast majority of H1 revenue was earned in Q2.  Ancillary revenue performed strongly as more guests chose priority boarding and reserved seating.

During the half-year substantial work has been undertaken to successfully improve Ryanair’s long term cost leadership.  The Group has agreed modest pay cuts with our people and their unions which helped minimise job losses. Lauda has been completely restructured, better terms were agreed with our maintenance providers, lessors, marketing & other suppliers and many airport deals were renegotiated.  Our Route Development teams are working with airports partners across Europe who have suffered steep traffic declines and discussions are ongoing with aircraft suppliers to amend pricing to reflect the new Covid-19 reality.  Due to significantly reduced W.20 traffic forecasts and ongoing aircraft delivery delays, the Group recorded a €214m ineffectiveness charge on fuel and currency hedges in H1.


Balance Sheet & Liquidity

Ryanair’s balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry with a BBB credit rating (S&P and Fitch) and over €4.5bn cash at 30 Sep. Almost 80% of the Group’s fleet is unencumbered (with a book value of over €7bn). Since March, the Group lowered cash burn by cutting costs, participating in EU Govt payroll support schemes, cancelling share buybacks and deferring non-essential capex.  In Sep., the Group raised €400m of equity and a 5-year (unsecured) €850m eurobond with a 2.875% coupon (both transactions were multiple times oversubscribed and keenly priced).  Cash was also boosted by €250m supplier reimbursements received in Q2.  This ensures that the Group is well financed to deal with the Covid-19 crisis and removes refinancing risk as it prepares to repay maturing debt over the coming year (CCFF £600m in Mar. & €850m bond in Jun. 2021).  This financial strength enables the Group to capitalise on the many growth opportunities that are available post Covid-19.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Boeing MAX update

It is over 18-months since the Group was due to take delivery of its first Boeing 737-MAX-200 aircraft.  Boeing expect a calendar Q4 return to service for the MAX-8, allowing Ryanair to, hopefully, accept delivery of its first MAX-200 in early 2021.  We expect to take delivery of approx. 30 MAXs before peak S.2021. While the Group received supplier reimbursements in Q2, compensation discussions will not be finalised or concluded with Boeing until the MAX returns to service and revised delivery schedules can be finalised and agreed.  We remain committed to the Boeing 737, particularly the new 200 series “gamechanger” aircraft which have 4% more seats, 16% lower fuel burn and 40% lower noise emissions.  These new aircraft will enable Ryanair to grow to 200m passengers p.a. over the next 5 or 6 years while lowering the cost base and significantly reducing its environmental footprint.



The risk of a no-deal Brexit remains high.  We hope, before the end of the Transition Period in Dec., that the UK and Europe will agree a trade deal to cover air travel which will allow the free movement of people and the deregulated airline market between the UK and Europe to continue.  As an EU airline group, Ryanair should be less affected by a no-deal Brexit than our UK registered competitors. However, we still expect Brexit to cause adverse trading consequences. Ryanair has put the necessary measures in place to ensure that the Group remains majority EU owned, including restricting voting rights of non-EU shareholders, in the event of a “hard-Brexit”. We therefore expect the Group’s AOCs in Austria, Ireland, Malta and Poland to continue to operate freely.  In addition, Ryanair’s UK AOC (Ryanair UK) will be able to benefit from any bilateral agreements negotiated between the UK and non-EU countries while facilitating the operation of domestic UK flights.



FY21 will continue to be a hugely challenging year for Ryanair.  Given the current Covid-19 uncertainty, Ryanair cannot provide FY21 PAT guidance at this time.  The Group expects to carry approx. 38m passengers in FY21, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU Govts continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions or lock downs this winter.  The Group expects to record higher losses in H2 than in H1.

As we look beyond the Covid-19 crisis, and the emergence of effective vaccines in early 2021, the Ryanair Group expects to have a lower cost base, a stronger balance sheet, which will enable it to fund lower fares, and add new lower cost aircraft to capitalise on the many growth opportunities that will be available in all markets across Europe, especially where competitor airlines have substantially cut capacity or failed.

Ryanair announces 17 new weekly flights from Bari this winter

Ryanair has announced a +25% increase in domestic flights from Bari Airport this winter, with 17 additional flights every week from December 1, 2020. These additional flights are in response to record demand from Italian consumers, which in turn allows Ryanair to support the local economy and tourism and make it easier for Italian people to visit their friends and relatives.

Ryanair’s Bari Winter ’20 schedule will deliver:

  • Over 200 weekly flights across 23 routes.
  • 17 new weekly flights:


Destination Weekly Flights
Bologna 10 (+3)
Catania 4 (+4)
Cuneo 2 (+1)
Genoa 3 (+1)
Milan Bergamo 17 (+3)
Trieste 3 (+1)
Turin 9 (+1)
Venice 7 (+3)


  • Over 1,700 direct and indirect jobs in the region

Ryanair to further cut its winter schedule due to decreased demand

Ryanair has released its revised winter schedule. Due to increased flight restrictions imposed by EU Governments, air travel to/from much of Central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal have been heavily curtailed. This has caused forward bookings to weaken slightly in October, but materially in November and December.

In light of these weaker bookings, and Ryanair’s plan to operate with a 70% load factors, Ryanair has today further reduced its winter schedule (November – March) taking capacity down from 60% to 40% of prior year. Ryanair expects to maintain up to 65% of its winter route network, but with reduced frequencies. In addition to the winter closure of bases in Cork, Shannon, and Toulouse, Ryanair has announced significant base aircraft cuts in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Vienna.

With this greatly reduced winter capacity and load factors of approx. 70%, Ryanair now expects full year (FY21) traffic to fall to approximately 38m guests, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU Governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more lockdowns this winter.

Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary said:

“We have continued to flex our capacity in Sept & Oct to reflect both market conditions and changing Government restrictions, with the objective of sustaining a 70% load factor, which allows us operate as close to breakeven as possible and minimise cash burn. While the Covid situation remains fluid and hard to predict, we must now cut our full year traffic forecast to 38m guests. 

While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts they have been forced upon us by Government mismanagement of EU air travel. Our focus continues to be on maintaining as large a schedule as we can sensibly operate to keep our aircraft, our pilots and our cabin crew current and employed while minimising job losses. It is inevitable, given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing  more unpaid leave, and job sharing this winter in those bases where we have agreed reduced working time and pay, but this is a better short term outcome than mass job losses. There will regrettably be more redundancies at those small number of cabin crew bases, where we have still not secured agreement on working time and pay cuts, which is the only alternative. We continue to actively manage our cost base to be prepared for the inevitable rebound and recovery of short haul air travel in Europe once an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed.

In the meantime, we urge all EU Governments to immediately, and fully, adopt the EU Commission’s Traffic Light System, which allows for safe air travel between EU states on a regional basis to continue (without defective travel restrictions) for those countries and regions of Europe, who are able to demonstrate that their Covid case rates are less than 50 per 100,000 population.”

Ryanair aircraft photo gallery:

Ryanair’s September traffic was down 64%

Ryanair Holdings plc has released its September traffic statistics as follows:


  2019 2020      Growth
Ryanair Group 14.1m 5.1m -64%
Rolling Annual 150.3m       79.9m (88% LF) -47%


Ryanair operated approximately 53% of our normal September schedule with a 71% load factor.

Ryanair to open a new Beauvais base in Winter 2020

Ryanair has announced it will open a new base at Beauvais (near Paris), from December 3, 2020, with 2 based aircraft and 32 routes (2 new to/from Paphos and Manchester) connecting Paris to 13 countries across Europe.

Ryanair aircraft photo gallery: