Ryanair earnings within the first quarter of 2022

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 aircraft prepares for takeoff at Krakow Airport.

Omar Marques | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – Low-cost airline Ryanair said Monday it is still facing a “challenging” environment and could end the fiscal year “somewhere between a small loss and breakeven” as Covid-19 restrictions persist.

The Irish company reported a loss of 273 million euros ($ 322 million) between April and June as lockdowns resulted in most flights being canceled over the Easter period and European nations wary of easing travel restrictions . The number surpassed a forecast by analysts made by the company.

For comparison: Compared to the first quarter of the previous year, the airline recorded a loss of 185 million euros.

“Covid-19 has continued to devastate our business,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement on Monday.

At the same time, operating costs rose, which worsened the company’s bottom line. Over the course of the year through June, costs increased 116%, mainly driven by fuel, airport and route charges.

However, O’Leary expects traffic to pick up in the coming weeks.

“We expect traffic to grow from over 5 million in June to nearly 9 million in July and to over 10 million in August as long as there are no more Covid setbacks in Europe,” he said.

However, the outlook depends heavily on the pandemic and successful vaccination campaigns. According to Our World in Data, 46% of the adult population in the European Union are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. In the UK it is 54.4%.

Ryanair shares are up 42% year over year. Based on the results, they traded 2.5% higher in early European deals on Monday.

“Ryanair is still at the mercy of the virus, and while a recovery is on the horizon, the group found that traveling within Europe will be depressed for the foreseeable future,” Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said via email.

“We are encouraged by the group’s progress, but they may have to keep the delicate line between low tariffs and high costs for some time.”

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