- Title: Ryanair job losses still possible despite 'very strong' bookings on relaunch
- Date: 1st July 2020
- Summary: DUBLIN, IRELAND (FILE - MAY 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF RYANAIR PLANES
- Embargoed: 15th July 2020 12:39
- Keywords: CEO COVID-19 Michael O'Leary Ryanair air travel airlines airports coronavirus lockdown low prices passenger numbers quarantine
- Location: DUBLIN, IRELAND / FRANKFURT AND BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: DUBLIN, IRELAND / FRANKFURT AND BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: Ireland
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00ACKZBSLP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ryanair has seen "very strong" bookings for the first two weeks of July across its network, which it relaunched on Wednesday (July 1) with 1,000 flights, but the prospect of up to 3,000 job losses still looms if staff fail to agree to pay cuts.
Despite the encouraging restart, Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary told Reuters he expects ticket prices to be lower than ever for the next 12 months.
Europe's largest low-cost carrier has been flying a skeleton service since the COVID-19 pandemic closed down much of Europe in March.
It expects to fly around 4.5 million passengers in July, around 40% of its normal service.
That is likely to climb to 5.5 to 6 million in August before settling into normal levels in the quieter winter season and attaining pre-pandemic levels next year, O'Leary said.
But price levels for tickets have been weak for the summer and are likely to remain so.
It will likely take until 2022 or 2023 for ticket prices to return to the levels seen before the pandemic, O'Leary added.
Ryanair's planes will be about 70% full on its first full day of service, O'Leary said.
He said there had been no major teething problems and expected any technical delays from planes returning to service to be offset by a lack of air traffic control issues in Europe's relatively empty skies.
O'Leary expects a decline in inflight food and beverage sales, but said he hoped that would be matched by an increase in the number of passengers paying for pre-booked seats and checked-in bags.
He said that while the airline had announced 3,000 job cuts, he was "reasonably hopeful but not confident" it could agree changes to pay cuts and work practices to avoid most of them.
(Production: Ben Dangerfield)
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