Ryanair Holdings plc expects to report a pre-exceptional loss for the year to March 31, 2021, between €800 million and €850 million.

This is a slight improvement on the previously guided range of -€850 million to -€950 million.

The Ryanair Group said full-year traffic was 27.5 million passengers, down from 149 million a year ago, because of Covid-19 flight cancellations and travel restrictions.

It said in a statement: “Easter travel restrictions/lockdowns and a delayed traffic recovery into the peak S.21 season, due to the slow rollout in the EU of Covid-19 vaccines, means that FY22 traffic is likely to be towards the lower end of our previously guided range of 80 million to 120 million passengers.

“While it is not possible (at this time) to provide meaningful FY22 profit guidance, we do not share the recent optimism of certain analysts as we believe that the outcome for FY22 is currently close to breakeven.”

The Ryanair Group’s next market update will be on May 17 when it releases full-year results.

It said Ryanair’s balance sheet “remains strong” and year-end cash (March 31) was more than €3.15 billion.

In March, the group carried 500,000 passengers, a fall of 91% compared to March 2020, when it carried 5.5 million.

Ryanair operated about 5% of its normal March schedule with a 77% load factor.