Coronavirus: Ryanair outlines ‘biggest fear’ as it books €185m lockdown loss

Ryanair says the months ahead are impossible to predict though it still intends to get the bulk of its fleet in the air.

Coronavirus: Ryanair outlines 'biggest fear' as it books €185m lockdown loss 1
Ryanair says 99% of its fleet was grounded from mid-March to the end of June

Ryanair has outlined the scale of the financial hit to its operations from the coronavirus lockdown and warned a second wave of the disease is its “biggest fear”.

The no-frills carrier’s parent firm, which was forced to ground almost all its planes from mid-March to the end of June as COVID-19 swept across its key European market, reported a €185m loss for the first quarter of its financial year.

That compared to profits after tax of €243m in the same April to June period in 2019.

Revenues, Ryanair revealed, came in at €125m following sales of €2.3bn in the same quarter last year.

The bulk of its sales in the period came from repatriation and medical flights on behalf of EU nation governments with just 500,000 passengers carried compared with 41.9 million.

It re-started meaningful services on 1 July and said it expected to operate approximately 40% of its normal July schedule, rising to around 60% in August and 70% in September.

But it refused to give financial guidance for the year given that the skies ahead remain clouded by uncertainty.

Ryanair, which had initially gone to court with rivals BA and easyJet to challenge early UK quarantine plans, said it was “regrettable” the UK government had reimposed 14-day periods of isolation on travellers arriving from Spain.

Meanwhile, it was reported by the Daily Telegraph on Monday that France and Germany were considering new lockdowns in a bid to control fresh coronavirus outbreaks.

The airline said: “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.

“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.”

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