Dublin based airline Ryanair Holdings Plc. (LON: RYA) announced trimming down its passenger traffic target for the year by an additional 20% citing global traveling volume distortion caused by coronavirus pandemic.
Ryanair further said it’s deliberating on pulling out of some airports across Europe as effects of the pandemic are hitting the airline industry hard.
The airline is considering closing down loss making bases in Germany, Span and the U.K. Afterwards if circumstances don’t change Ryanair will also close bases in Belgium, Italy and central and Eastern Europe.
Nonetheless, the airline managed to register a 13% increase in annual profits after tax. Ryanair boasts of being the largest low cost carrier across Europe. For the year ending March 31, Ryanair reported a profit before tax of 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion).
The company is now expecting to fly slightly below 80 million passengers in the coming year a target lower than the 100 million which the company had projected before things went from bad to worse. Initially, before global breakout of the pandemic Ryanair had estimated to fly around 154 million passengers.
The company’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, outright admitted it would be total guess work if the company would try to give any financial guidance for the remaining part of the year at the moment. “For the next 12 months it’s obviously impossible for us to today to give you any guidance on either traffic numbers or on profits,” said O’Leary.
The airline industry remains at a quagmire since it’s not clear when global economy will open up and normal travel volume resume. “We have no idea because it is entirely subject to passenger numbers, yields and the lifting of government restrictions,” added the CEO.