London — Ryanair said Monday it will run a “significantly reduced flight schedule” over the next six months compared to original expectations as governments across Europe tightened social restrictions.
The statement came two days after the British government announced its second blockade in Britain from November 5. Last week, the French and German governments also issued a second national blockade plan. Meanwhile, many governments across Europe have tightened regulations over the past few days, struggling with a second coronavirus infection.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday that “the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the lockdown should be the last option and that the lockdown is essentially a failure.
“If there were more aggressive testing and tracking provisions, or (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson’s promised world-class testing and tracking not clearly seen in Britain, we would have avoided a second lockdown.” Added.
Low-budget airlines have been hit hard by orders to work from home. Coronavirus infectious disease worldwide epidemic. The company reported on Monday a 78% decline in sales between April and September compared to a year ago. Ryanair has seen an 80% decline in customer count over six months.
“It is clear that air travel is at the forefront of this epidemic, and we believe that the government, the UK, Ireland and other European governments are the only way to introduce pre-departure testing,” O’Leary told CNBC.
An airliner operated by Ryanair Holdings stands on the runway of London Stansted Airport in Stansted, UK on May 1, 2020.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty images
With the latest European restrictions, Ryanair expects fewer flights in the future.
Ryan Air said in a statement, “We expect air travel capacity in Europe to continue to decline over the next few years.”
O’Leary added, “There will be a key trip to take place this winter, but fundamentally we’re talking about numbers that are less than 1/3 of the normal.”
However, the company believes that this crisis will “create opportunities” such as an increase in aviation and lower airport costs in the future.
Other highlights for the first half of this year:
- A net loss of 191 million euros compared to a profit of 1.15 billion euros a year ago.
- Operating costs are 1.35 billion euros, a 67% decrease from a year ago.
- The load rate reached 72% compared to 96% a year ago.
Ryanair’s stock has fallen about 19% since the beginning of the year.