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Ryanair up but Underperforms on Wider Loss Forecast, Misses out on Sector Rebound

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Ryanair (IR:RYA) ADRs traded up 3.1% in premarket trading Thursday, despite the budget airline more than doubling its annual loss forecast, blaming recent travel restrictions brought on by European governments to tame the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Both France and Germany have imposed bans on U.K. tourist arrivals in recent days, due to the surge in Omicron cases in Britain to levels far above previous records. Around one-third of Ryanair's flight movements involve the U.K.

The airline said its net loss for the year ending March 31 will fall between 250 million euro (around $282 million) and 450 million, much worse than the previous forecast of 100-200 million.

Ryanair said the new restrictions have “notably weakened close-in Christmas and New Year bookings” and those have led it to cut its planned January schedule capacity by 33%.

No cutbacks have yet been decided for February or March, the airline said, but its December traffic may now have to take a hit of at least 500,000 passengers.

Ryanair said it hopes to have more clarity, especially on the impact of Omicron on intra-Europe travel restrictions, in time for its quarterly results on January 31.

Despite its rise, the stock was still underperforming rivals such as BA owner IAG Group and Hungary-based Wizz Air (OTC:WZZZY).

IAG (LON:ICAG), EasyJet (LON:EZJ), Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) and Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ) were all up 3%-4%.

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