Ryanair cuts 2020 passenger target after Italy lockdown

Ryanair cuts 2020 passenger target after Italy lockdown

Ryanair (LON:RYA) announced on Tuesday that it will be lowering its passenger target for 2020 by 3 million as a result of Italy’s coronavirus lockdown.

Shares in the budget airline were trading over 7% higher on Tuesday.

The Irish airline said that its 2020 passenger target will be lowered from 154 million to 151 million.

“This is a direct result of the suspension of all Ryanair flights to/from Italy, between 13 March and 8 April, in response to the Italian Government’s “lock down” of travel to/from Italy, in addition to a number of other EU countries (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Austria) unilaterally restricting flights to/from Italy,” Ryanair said in a statement.

Italy was recently placed on lockdown as the number of people infected by the virus grew to over 9,000, with cases confirmed in all 20 of Italy’s regions.

The aviation industry has been hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus as demand for air travel is decreasing during a time when people are being encouraged to stay indoors.

Flybe (LON:FLYB) collapsed just last week, and the immediate crash of the airline was blamed on coronavirus related impacts.

Elsewhere, Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ) announced the measures it will follow to limit the impact that the virus will have on its business.

Italy is a particularly popular tourist destination and receives a high volume of international travel.

“Ryanair does not expect these traffic reductions to have a material impact on FY20 (31 March 2020) PAT guidance,” Ryanair continued.

The budget airline added: “It is far too early to assess the impact of Covid-19 on FY21 traffic and earnings. The Ryanair Group will continue to focus on delivering cost savings and improved operational efficiency in FY21.”

Shares in Ryanair Holdings plc (LON:RYA) were up on Tuesday, trading at +7.42% as of 14:17 GMT.