Ryanair has cut its annual traffic target by a further 20%, as the company reports profits after tax of €1bn for the year ending 31st March.

For the reported financial year, the airline grew traffic by 4% up to 149m passengers, with revenue per guest up by 6%. Most of Ryanair’s fleet was grounded from mid-March by EU Government flight bans and restrictions. These groundings reduced March and full year traffic by over 5m guests and cut FY20 profits by over €40m.

The company said it was unable to provide a forecast for the coming year due to COVID 19, with chief executive Michael O’Leary saying it was essentially guesswork.

“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 in a video presentation.

“We have no idea because it is entirely subject to passenger numbers, yields and the lifting of government restrictions.”

The airline said it expects to carry ‘somewhere under’ 80m passengers in the coming year. This estimation is down from an original target of 154m, which was later revised downwards to 100m.

Ryanair has also warned it will look at pulling out of some airports in Europe as part of a cost cutting exercise. Michael O’Leary said the airline would look at loss-making bases in Spain, Germany and the UK initially.

The company has gone on a cost cutting drive in recent weeks, with 3,000 pilots and cabin crew as well as 250 HQ staff likely to lose their jobs.

The company has again expressed its support for Boeing’s grounded 737-MAX-200 aircraft: “We remain fans of, and committed to, these “gamechanger” aircraft with 4% more seats & 16% lower fuel burn, which will transform Ryanair’s cost base for the next decade”.

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