Dublin, Feb 2 (IANS) Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair announced that it suffered a loss of 306 million euros ($370 million) in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the third quarter of the current fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021, the passenger numbers handled by Ryanair fell by 78 per cent to 8.1 million from 35.9 million recorded in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, the airline said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.
Ryanair also reported an 82 per cent drop in its revenue in the above-mentioned period, which stood at 340 million euros compared with the 1.91 billion euro revenue it made in the same period of the previous fiscal year, reports Xinhua news agency.
The airline predicted that its traffic for the entire fiscal year 2021 will drop to between 26 million to 30 million passengers and its net loss will further expand to between 850 million euros and 950 million euros by the end of the current fiscal year.
Despite the huge negative impact of the pandemic on its business, Ryanair claimed that its "balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry".
It said that as of the end of last year it had 3.5 billion euros in cash on hand, which will enable it to repay over the 1.5-billion-euro maturing debt in the next six months.
The airline also said that in December 2020 it ordered another 75 Boeing 737-8200 aircraft, bringing the orders of such aircraft to a total of 210.
This order, which will be delivered over a four-year period between Spring 2021 and December 2024, will facilitate Ryanair to grow its annual passenger numbers to 200 million by the fiscal year 2026, it added.
Headquartered in Ireland, Ryanair mainly operates short-haul flights in Europe and North Africa.
In the fiscal year 2020, Ryanair handled nearly 149 million passengers.