Ryanair shares set to struggle this winter amid rising Covid-19 cases

The low-cost airline is likely to see its share price struggle this winter as rising coronavirus cases threaten tighter travel restrictions, with the company seeing passenger numbers drop 64% in September.

  • Ryanair shares likely to struggle this winter amid rising Covid-19 cases
  • Passenger numbers at the budget airline set to fall after 64% decline in September
  • Ryanair warns of large job losses due to ‘shambolic’ UK coronavirus policy
  • FTSE 100 trades flat on uncertain US stimulus hopes as markets await Trump health update

Ryanair shares are likely to come under renewed pressure during the winter months, with the low-cost airline reporting a 64% decline in passenger numbers in September as a result of rising Covid-19 cases that led to tighter travel restrictions.

In a statement earlier this month, Ryanair said that just 5.1 million people flew with them last month, compared to the 14.1 million that took to the skies with the budget airline over the same period last year.

Ryanair also said it operated at around 53% of its normal September schedule with a 71% load factor, which measures passengers per seat, the company said.

As it stands, the low-cost airline’s annual passenger numbers are down 47% to 79.9 million, with other European airlines all seeing suppressed demand due to the pandemic, with the industry forecasting that demand will not return to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023.

Ryanair closed 2% higher on Monday, with the stock down 22% year-to-date.

Ryanair warns of job losses due to ‘shambolic’ UK Covid-19 policy

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has urged the UK government to reconsider their Covid-19 travel restrictions or face massive job losses across the British aviation and tourism sectors.

‘We want to keep our pilots and cabin crew employed and paid and we are going to have to have huge government assistance for that, otherwise I'm afraid they're all going to go on unpaid leave for the winter,’ O’Leary said.

‘The British government doesn't have any competence, never mind confidence,’ he told ITV News in an interview.

‘You know the example that we point to all the time is that the Italians and the Germans have been allowing flights, intra-EU air flights, since the first of July and have managed to keep their Covid case rates down around 20 per 100,000,’ he added.

FTSE 100: technical analysis

The FTSE 100 has rallied into the key 5975 resistance level in early trade, with the index looking to resume Fridays positivity, according to Josh Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

‘However, with price turning lower from that resistance level there is good chance we will see the recent consolidation continue once again,’ he said. ‘From a wider perspective, we have been seeing a trend of lower highs, and thus the recent rebound look like a retracement of the decline from 6127.’

‘As such, another period of downside looks likely over the short-term, with a rise through 5975 required to bring about expectations of further short-term upside,’ Mahony added. ‘Irrespective of whether that happens or not, the wider bearish trend remains in play unless the 6127 swing-low is broken.’

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