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Published on Monday, July 27, 2020

Ryanair says second wave is its 'biggest fear' as it reports huge Q1 loss

Ryanair Group has reported a €185m (£169m) loss for the first quarter of its financial year, down from €243m last year.

Covid-19 meant 99% of its aircraft were grounded during the first quarter, from April to June 2020.

The airline warned 2021 will be 'very challenging'.

"It is impossible to predict how long the Covid-19 pandemic will persist, and a second 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. 

"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."

Ryanair added current uncertainty means it is unable to provide any guidance for 2021.

"However, the Ryanair Group will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis with a much lower cost base, which will be essential to fund lower fares as the Group competes against unlawfully state aided flag carriers.  Further updates will be provided at Ryanair's AGM in September," it concluded.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has said it plans to run a full schedule of flights to Spain despite the British government advising against all non-essential travel.

Chief financial officer Neil Sorahan said on Monday the carrier had 'no plans to cut capacity in the medium term', between the UK and Spain, according to the Telegraph.

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)

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