Published on : Thursday, March 5, 2020
On earnings, Ryanair top boss, Michael O’Leary anticipates that coronavirus will have a “meaningful impact” in the first quarter of 2020, and explained he cannot rule out further drops to flights as the virus hits demand for air travel.
On Monday, the airline declared about a decision to cut down a quarter of flights to and from Italy for three weeks from mid March. It will run a reduced short-haul flight programme, mostly to and from Italy, by up to 25 per from March 17th-April 8th.
On Tuesday while exchanging words with the media, Mr. O’Leary explained that there would be a “meaningful impact” from the emergency situation on its first quarter earnings.
“At the moment we’re expecting a 10 per cent decline in bookings through the months of April and maybe May,” he said.
Mr. O’Leary stated that the airline would carry on monitoring the situation, but that further cuts could be essential
“I think the big mover will be the Easter holiday – second and third weeks of April,” he said. “We don’t see any reduction in travel demand over that period of time.
“That situation could change as the situation evolves over the next couple of weeks, but all of my experience in this industry tends to suggest this will be a reasonably short-lived phenomenon.”
“Clearly passengers are already beginning to cancel or avoid air travel. Most of the airlines are reporting a large drop in short term bookings, but I think it will be reasonably short-term.”
“We are going to complete the flight schedules for the next two weeks, and we won’t cancel flights unless we can give all passengers two weeks notification. So we’re talking about the last two weeks of March and the first week of April.”