• 3/16/2020 10:30 AM
  • Niva

Ryanair considers grounding all fleet

Irish lowcost airline is expecting to see a 80% decline in flight bookings across April and May and it’s not ruling out simply grounding all fleet.

Coronavirus pandemic forces airlines to change their plans. Many European countries are closing airports, forcing carriers to change the schedule on a daily basis. In just the last 7 days Italy, Malta, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Denmark, Norway and Cyprus introduced flight bans of different kinds or closed their borders. Some countries also introduced restrictions related to air control or airport service.

“Ryanair expects these restrictions to result in grounding most of the fleet in Europe over the next 7 to 10 days. In countries where the fleet is not grounded, social distancing restrictions may make flying to all intents and purposes, impractical, if not, impossible, “reads the press release.

Currently, Ryanair expects to reduce its seat capacity by up to 80% in the next two months. The airline is currently operating about 2,400 flights a day, but can soon be down to under 500 daily flights.

“We do not rule out the complete grounding of our fleet,” airlines states in its press release.

Ryanair is also taking urgent actions to reduce expenses and improve cash flow. In addition to grounding the aircraft, the company plans to reduce all necessary expenses, temporarily suspend contracts with some of its employees and cease all existing recruitment actions. It’s also planned to cut working hours for remaining personel, which would result in lower wages.

“We are working with our people and our unions across all EU countries to address this extraordinary and unprecedented Covid-19 event, the impact and duration of which is, at this time, impossible to determine,” the airline said.

At the same time, Ryanair stated that it’s doing well in terms of financial liquidity and owns cash and cash equivalents of over of €4 billion

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