MAJOR airline Ryanair has confirmed that it will continue to “operate normally” and that no flights to or from Spain will be cancelled in the coming weeks.
The announcement comes as other budget airlines such as Jet2 and TUI pulled flights to Spain following the UK Government’s last minute quarantine Uturn.
On Saturday Spain was removed from the no quarantine list, meaning anyone returning from the country will be required to face two weeks in self isolation.
The Foreign Office has since advised against all non-essential travel to Spain, including to the Balearic and Canary islands.
Jet2 has suspended its flights and holiday programme to Spanish destinations from Tuesday, July 28, up to and including Sunday, August 16.
Meanwhile TUI had already cancelled holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday, August 9. It has now cancelled holidays to the Balearic and Canary islands until Friday.
However, Ryanair tweeted: “Our schedules between UK – Spain are operating normally”.
The decision to continue providing Spanish flights comes as the airline revealed in a statement the coronavirus crisis has slashed the company’s revenue by nearly 100 per cent.
The budget carrier suffered a net loss of €185m in the three months to the end of June compared with a net profit of €243m in the same period in the previous year.
A statement from Ryanair read:“The past quarter was the most challenging in Ryanair’s 35-year history.
“Covid-19 grounded the Group’s fleet for almost 4 months (from mid-March to end June) as EU Governments imposed flight or travel bans and widespread population lockdowns.”
Over 99 per cent of flights were grounded during that period and the number of passengers fell from 42m to 500,000. Revenue fell by almost €2.2bn, to €125m.
The fiscal Q1 losses came despite an 85 per cent reduction in costs, Ryanair said, including through redundancies and pay cuts.
Back in May the carrier revealed it would cut up to 15 per cent of its workforce and even more employees could face the axe in the future.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary warned yesterday (Monday, July 27) that further pay cuts and job losses could be on the way if a second wave of coronavirus hits this autumn.
“We cannot rule out that there will not be further pay cuts and job losses if things get worse, not better,” he said.
“Our biggest fear is a second wave of Covid-19 cases across Europe [in late autumn when the annual flu season starts] and the way that governments will respond to or manage that.”
After restarting 40 per cent of its pre-Covid flights, across 90 per cent of its route network from July, the airline had planned to increase to 60 per cent of its normal schedule in August and 70 per cent in September.
Despite concerns that it would take at least two years for the company to bounce back to pre Covid levels, Ryanair said that their “balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry”, adding that cost-cutting measures, including cancelled share buybacks and the sale of some aircrafts, would leave them with more than €3.9bn in cash at the end of June.
The statement added: “The Ryanair Group will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis with a much lower cost base, which will be essential to fund lower fares.”