Lossmaking Ryanair switches to discounts as Omicron drops pre-booking prices

Ryanair said it would slash flight prices to stimulate demand as coronavirus uncertainty envelopes the airline industry, after the spread of the Omicron variant dented bookings for the last three months of 2021.

The airline has warned of “major uncertainty” over prices and yields through the end of its fiscal year in March, adding that investors should expect continued coronavirus disruptions affect air travel before the region can end the Covid-19 crisis.

The low-cost airline reported a net loss of 96 million euros, better than a loss of 321 million euros in the same quarter a year earlier, on revenue of 1.5 billion euros from 31 million passengers in the third quarter.

The Irish airline suffered a drop in bookings and reduced flight schedules in January after European governments reintroduced tougher border restrictions late last year to deal with the spread of the virus. rapidity of the Omicron coronavirus strain.

“In recent weeks. . . especially with the UK and Ireland easing restrictions, we have started to see more people watching the summer and Easter holidays,” Neil Sorahan, Ryanair’s chief financial officer, told the BBC. Radio 4 on Monday.

“I very much hope that in the next few weeks, as more European governments start to relax restrictions, we will see more bookings,” he added.

After a “severe drop” in seats filled on flights, Ryanair said passengers were still making last-minute bookings and that “significant pricing stimulus at lower rates” was needed to encourage encourage the recovery of air travel.

Ryanair reaffirmed its expectation that it will fly just under 100 million passengers this financial year and its full-year financial guidance, which the airline doubles in December net loss from 250 million euros to 450 million euros.

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