Ryanair slashes air travel outlook

Ryanair slashes air travel outlook

The Dublin-based group expects to record "a smaller loss" in the second quarter as it gradually restarted flights from the start of July. The company said the situation could be further compounded by "adverse trading consequences" if the United Kingdom completes its exit the European Union without a trade deal in January.

Ryanair Holdings PLC has reported a first quarter loss of €185 million, as Covid-19 caused a fall in traffic over the period from 42 million passengers to just 500,000.

Group Revenue fell by 95% to €125m, despite the airline slashing costs by 85%. It had made €243m in the same period past year, according to its first-quarter results published on Monday.

European budget airline Ryanair said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on its earnings, with lockdown restrictions leading to a 99% drop in passengers in the first quarter, and warned travel is likely to remain subdued for years.

The Irish company said it plans to operate about 40% of its normal schedule this month, rising to 60% in August and 70% in September if there are no immediate setbacks, though the resumption is already under threat from Britain reinstating quarantine rules for people arriving from Spain over the weekend.

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The no-frills carrier's parent firm, which was forced to ground nearly all its planes from mid-March to the end of June as COVID-19 swept across its key European market, reported a €185m (£169m) loss for the first quarter of its financial year. Ryanair resumed flights on July 1.

"It is impossible to predict how long the Covid-19 pandemic will persist, and a 2nd wave of Covid-19 cases across Europe in late autumn (when the annual flu season commences) is our biggest fear right now".

Elsewhere, it expects over 90pc of customer cash refund requests will be cleared by the end of this month.

Striking a positive note, the group said that capacity cuts by other airlines "will create opportunities for Ryanair to grow its network, and expand its fleet, to take advantage of lower airport and aircraft cost opportunities that will inevitably arise".

Ryanair said that it hopes that European Union citizens comply with recommendations to wear face masks and practice other measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and that governments develop effective tracing and quarantining measures to avoid the need for another wave to restrictions on intra-EU flights or lockdowns.

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