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Revenues from Ryanair Q4 2020 against the background of coronavirus

Ryanair is negotiating pay cuts, unpaid leave and up to 3,000 job losses with its employees and unions as the coronavirus reduced the airline’s passenger numbers by more than 5 million.

However, the airline’s outspoken CEO is somewhat optimistic about traveling in Europe this summer and told CNBC that he expects a “deep discount” on flights.

In its year-round results by the end of March, the Irish company said revenue rose to 8.49 billion euros ($ 9.19 billion) – a 10% increase over the previous year. Profits rose 1

3% to 1 billion euros, excluding fuel hedging fees.

However, he said the ongoing pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions suggest that this year will be “difficult” for the carrier.

Most of the aircraft have been grounded since mid-March, and the company expects to resume a maximum of 50% of scheduled flights in the second quarter (between July and September).

Speaking to CNBC on Monday, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was confident that some passengers would still be looking for a summer break.

He said that people in Northern Europe, Ireland and the UK will still go to Spain, Portugal on family holidays; they will still go to the beaches. There are very low incidents in these areas. “

“We really think that families will still go on summer vacations after the school holidays come, but at best we think we’re talking about 50% of our normal travel,” he added.

Ryanair, which said it would not seek state aid, said the competitive landscape would be distorted as a result of state support for other airlines across Europe.

“Because the restrictions make it easier or lose all credibility … I think you’ll see people coming back in pretty fast numbers, but mainly on the back of deep price discounts for both plane tickets and hotel and accommodation packages,” O said. ‘Pounds to CNBC,

In France, the government is investing 7 billion euros in AirFrance, which also expects some help from the Netherlands. The Italian government soon supported the nationalized Alitalia with 3 billion euros, and in Germany politicians are also negotiating a rescue package for Lufthansa.

Ryanair, meanwhile, filed lawsuits earlier this month against European regulators for approving $ 493 million in loan guarantees for airlines based in Sweden. Ryanair claims that this violates EU law by excluding all carriers flying to Sweden, but without a base in the country. The case opens the door to similar cases elsewhere.

The two-week quarantine is a “joke”

O’Leary was also critical of some European government travel restrictions imposed in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.

It comes after Italy, one of Europe’s worst-affected countries by the coronavirus, announced plans over the weekend to further ease restrictions. This includes the right of European citizens to travel to Italy without the need for isolation for two weeks.

Addressing CNBC, O’Leary said the move was “useful”.

“They removed this idiotic 14-day isolation, which is both indisputable and unmanageable, in favor of the use of masks and temperature checks,” he said, adding that “the two-week quarantine is a joke.”

Other European countries, including the United Kingdom, have announced plans to introduce two-week quarantine periods for incoming flights for certain passengers.

“We’re in dialogue with the US government, but the government has no idea what they’re talking about,” O’Leary said.

“You are asking the top government ministers in the UK to determine what the 14-day period of isolation will be, they can’t. They say it’s based on science, but then (they) can’t explain why you’re releasing the Irish and the French.”

A passenger plane operated by Ryanair Holdings stands on the asphalt of London Stansted Airport in Stansted, USA, on May 1, 2020.

Chris Ratcliffe Bloomberg | Getty images

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