Ryanair to increase activity at City of Derry as passenger numbers 'recover strongly'

Ryanair said on Monday its passenger numbers had "recovered strongly”, but were still more than a third below pre-pandemic levels.

RYANAIR is to increase its activity at City of Derry Airport for the summer period.

The low cost carrier, which returned to the north west airport in December, said it will fly to Manchester four times per week from May.

It comes as the Irish airline said its passenger numbers "recovered strongly”, but were still more than a third below pre-pandemic levels.

In a market updated on Monday, the Dublin-based company said it expects to post a loss of at least €350 million (£294m) for the year to the end of March.

Ryanair previously guided the market to a loss of between €250m (£210m) and €450m (£378m).

The airline tumbled to an €815m (£702m) loss in the previous financial year due to an 81 per cent plunge in customer traffic due to pandemic restrictions.

The group told shareholders on Monday that passenger numbers increased to more than 97 million for the year to March, compared with 27.2 million in the year to March 2021.

However, restrictions in some regions, particularly at the start of the financial year, mean it remains significantly below pre-Covid traffic of 149 million customers.

The group, which release its full results next month, said it has reduced its net debt from €2.3 billion (£1.9bn) to €1.5bn (£1.25bn) over the past year as it continues to stabilise its operations.

Ryanair said it has also increased its hedging to cover 80 per cent of its fuel, amid significant volatility in oil prices sparked by the conflict in Ukraine.

In a separate update, Ryanair said that it had 11.2 million passengers last month, representing its strongest month since October.

It comes after a significant slump during the winter months as the spread of Omicron variant of Covid-19 and related restrictions impacted sentiment.

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