Published on Monday, May 18, 2020

Ryanair expects total passenger numbers to halve this year

Ryanair says it expects passenger numbers to halve in the current financial year, to below 80 million, down from its original target of 154 million.

The airline made its lower passenger number forecast as it announced a 13% rise in profits of just over €1bn (£894 million) for the financial year to the end of March.

Ryanair repeated its plan to cut up to 3,000 jobs, equivalent to 15% of its workforce, as it restructures amid the coronavirus crisis. Included in the figure are 250 office jobs.

It warned: "FY21 will be difficult for the Ryanair Group as its airlines work hard to return to scheduled flying following the Covid-19 crisis.  Unlike many flag carrier competitors, Ryanair will not request or receive State Aid. Consultations about base closures, pay cuts of up to 20%, unpaid leave and up to 3,000 job cuts (mainly pilots and cabin crew) are under way with our people and our unions. 

"The Group expects to record a loss of over €200m in Q1, with a smaller loss expected in Q2 (peak summer) due to a substantial decline in traffic and pricing from Covid-19 groundings. 

"The Group currently expects to carry less than 80m passengers in FY21 (almost 50% below its original 154m target)." 

Chief executive Michael O'Leary told Radio 4's Today programme the airline still plans to ramp up flights in July and again criticised the UK Government's 14-day quarantine plan.

He said: "It's idiotic and it's un-implementable. You don't have enough police in the UK."

He said the policy had "no credibility" and predicted that it would be gone by June.

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