Low-cost airline Ryanair has reported a loss of €185 million by the end of the first quarter of 2020, after over 99 per cent of its fleet was grounded between mid-March and the end of June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traffic during Q1 fell from 42 million to 0.5 million. The airline noted that cash preservation was a key priority and closed the quarter with a cash balance of €3.9 billion.
“The past quarter was the most challenging in Ryanair’s 35-year history,” the airline said. The Group resumed flights on 1st July across the majority of its route network. “We expect to operate approximately 40 per cent of our normal July schedule, rising to circa 60 per cent in August and, hopefully, 70 per cent in September,” the airline said.
The Group expects its Fiscal Year 2021 traffic to fall by 60 per cent, from 149 million to just 60 million. As for the rest of this year, the ariline said it fears the onset of a second wave of Covid-19 cases across Europe in autumn around the time of flu season.
“Hopefully EU Governments, by implementing effective track and tracing systems, and EU citizens by complying with recommended face masks, rigorous hand hygiene and other measures, will avoid the need for further lockdowns or restrictions on intra-EU flights,” they said.
“It is vital that European economies begin the process of recovery this summer to minimise the damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, and this recovery can only be led by intra-EU air travel which is the engine of EU growth and economic activity.”