Ryanair Steels For Winter 'Write-Off' As Travel Gloom Deepens
Ryanair has slashed its annual passenger target by another 10 million, becoming the latest European airline to signal more capacity cuts as resurgent COVID-19 infections and travel restrictions dent recovery hopes.
"The winter of 2020 will be a write-off," Ryanair Group chief executive Michael O'Leary predicted in an interview. Europe's biggest low-cost carrier is preparing to close some bases and shrink others, he told Reuters.
"Pricing is going to be aggressively down" in coming months, the Ryanair boss said.
Ryanair now expects to fly 50 million passengers in the fiscal year to March, which is one-third of the previous year's number. The goal was previously cut to 60 million in July from 80 million in May and could go lower still, O'Leary cautioned.
"We're probably looking at closing more bases and withdrawing more capacity in those countries where you're operating completely defective and non-scientific quarantines," he added, citing Britain, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.
Confident The Airline Can Come Out On Top
O'Leary, who last week bolstered Ryanair's already strong balance sheet with a €400 million share issue, remains confident the airline can come out on top.
"Our rivals have withdrawn huge amounts of capacity," he said. "The competitive landscape if anything is getting easier."