Irish low-cost airline Ryanair reported Wednesday that its passenger traffic this summer will be 30% to 40% lower than that recorded in the same period of 2019 as a result of the restrictions imposed on travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Its CEO, Michael O’Leary, offered this forecast in an appearance before the British Parliament’s Transport Committee, where he described as “regrettable” the support provided by the London government to the airlines during this health crisis, EFE Reported.
The head of the Ryanair Group, Europe’s leading low-cost airline, assured that the company has “been practically annihilated” in the last twelve months, when it has been forced to “return more than 1.5 billion euros” to customers “because our flights were cancelled by order of the Government”.
“There has been no support for that. We have not received any support,” said O’Leary, who said that the subsidies for temporary lay-offs (ERTE) have somewhat alleviated the situation in aviation, but, in general, the “government’s response has been pitiful.”
In this context, he predicted that Ryanair will carry just 27 million passengers in the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, compared to 150 million last year, resulting in losses of more than 850 million euros.
“Perhaps we will be able to reach 60% or 70% of the usual passenger traffic during the peak summer season, between June, July, August and September, and around 80% or 90% in winter,” O’Leary said.
The executive regretted that the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA, acronym in English) “has initiated criminal proceedings” against Ryanair and “other airlines” for carrying passengers to the United Kingdom with “valid proof of covid-19” written in German and Italian, instead of in “English, Spanish or French”, as established by the legislation of this country.
“These nonsensical and isolated rules are designed to make it look like the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Health are doing something, but, in reality, they are totally absurd,” O’Leary said.