Lyft: Q4 Airport Rises Again, But Omicron Hurts

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Ride-sharing provider Lyft noted the continued recovery in airport rides, which may correlate to business travel, during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Tuesday. Airport rides for the quarter more than doubled year-over-year, Lyft chief financial officer Elaine Paul said.

“Airport trips are longer and revenue is higher per trip,” Paul said. These rides reached 9% of ride volume in the fourth quarter, “comparing well with 9.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019,” she added.

Lyft reported fourth-quarter revenue of $970 million, up 70% year-over-year and up 12% from reported $864 million in revenue in the previous quarter. It was down slightly from the $1 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. Still, the company’s net loss in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $259 million, down from a loss of $458 million in fourth quarter of 2020, and lower than the loss of $356 million recorded in 2019.

Full-year 2021 revenue was $3.2 billion, up 36% year-over-year and down $400 million from 3.6 billion reported in 2019. Net loss for the year was $1 billion compared to $1.8 billion a year earlier. The company’s net loss in 2019 was $2.6 billion.

The company’s active passengers for the quarter increased 49% year-over-year to just over 18,700. Revenue per active passenger reached an all-time high of $51.79 in the quarter , said Paul.

Although 2021 ended with what executives called a strong quarter, co-founder and CEO Logan Green said the omicron variant of Covid-19 had a “significant” negative impact on ride volumes in January and would also affect short-term growth. Still, he added that the peak in the United States had peaked and the company expected demand to pick up.

“The last week of January saw an upswing in carpools,” he said. “The rebound in demand is a matter of when, not if.”

RELATED: Lyft Q3 2021 results

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