Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary WON'T refund November bookings if flights are still running

2 months ago 6

Ryanair has announced losses of £178million from the coronavirus pandemic as its CEO insisted testing could have avoided new restrictions, branding Boris Johnson's second lockdown 'a cover-up for political mismanagement'.

Michael O'Leary savaged the government over the impending national shutdown as his Ireland-based low cost airline said it 'expects record higher losses' in the second half of the year.

But he said despite the impending national lockdown people would not be able to get refunds on flights booked in November if the planes were still going.

Instead they will have to change their reservations to a different date in the future. 

Ryanair's huge losses are particularly striking as the company has a lower cost base and a stronger balance sheet.

Mr O'Leary said: 'National lockdown hasn't defeated Covid, that's the whole point, the lockdown at the start of the year achieved nothing, the second lockdown will achieve even less – it's just a cover-up for political mismanagement, which the Johnson government continues to deliver.

Michael O'Leary called Boris 's new lockdown 'a cover-up for political mismanagement'

'What we need is much more extensive test and tracing, the UK should setting a target of not just 500,000 people a week, it should be 5 million a week, you need much more extensive testing.

'Air travel, certainly on shorthold within the European Union can continue and has if you have passengers having a test within 72 hours of departure - that would give us assurances we're not spreading the virus in Europe.

'European governments have failed to put that in place during the first lockdown, which is why we have this second lockdown and we need to use this second lockdown to massively scale up testing because testing is the way out of or living with this virus without having these utterly failed and deeply damaging lockdowns.'

The CEO was speaking to Radio 4 as he admitted stripping out the flight schedule for most of November and the early part of December

He said there was a skeleton selection of services between UK airports and Europe, kept on for essential work travel.

But he said it meant if flights were still operating they could not get refunds, despite the lockdown banning travel.

Ryanair said it had lost £178million so far this year and expected more to come in later months

Airports like Heathrow, pictured, are empty after the coronavirus restrictions hit hard

Mr O'Leary added: 'What customers can take advantage of is our change facility, we've waived the change fee, so if they were booking in November they can change it, move to December or January if needs be, but there won't be refunds on flights that are operating and travelling.'

Bizarrely England's airports have seen waves of holidaymakers rush to leave the country before the latest lockdown rules come into effect on Thursday.

The new rules, which will see both international travel and travel inside the UK banned for a month, have sparked a stampede of people rushing to the departure gates before they are slammed shut to all but a handful of travellers.

As part of the lockdown plans, travellers who are already on holiday, or leave before Thursday, are not required to return from their trips early, it has been announced.

Coronavirus saw 99% of the carrier's fleet grounded for almost four months between mid-March and the end of June.

The company said traffic in the first half of the year fell from 86 million to 17 million passengers compared with the same period last year, around 80%.

Its revenue dropped 78% to 1.18 billion euros (£1.06 billion), while the loss in this half year contrasts with a profit after tax of 1.15 billion euros (£1.04 billion) in the first half of last financial year.

Data on flights analysed by Flightradar24 showed the difference in flights from last year

With almost no traffic in the first quarter of the year, the 'vast majority' of the first half of the year's revenue was earned in the second quarter, the firm said.

It added: 'Given the current Covid-19 uncertainty, Ryanair cannot provide FY21 PAT (profit after tax) guidance at this time.

'The group expects to carry approximately 38 million passengers in FY21, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU Govts continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions or lock downs this winter.'

It said the pandemic, uncertainties over Brexit, airline pricing, fuel costs, competition from new and existing carriers, actions by governments and the willingness of passengers to travel 'could significantly impact' its results for the remainder of the year.

It was critical of what it called a 'flood of illegal state aid from EU governments' to carriers including Air France and Lufthansa, which it said would 'distort competition and allow failed flag carriers to engage in below-cost selling for many years'.  

How more than 210,000 job losses have been revealed by major UK firms since lockdown began 

Some 212,081 job losses have been announced by major British employers since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March as follows:

October 29 - Pizza Express - 1,300 October 7 - Greene King - 800 October 6 - Virgin Money - 400 October 6 - Vp - 150 October 5 - Cineworld - 5,500 (many cuts likely to be temporary) September 30 - TSB - 900 September 30 - Shell - 9,000 worldwide September 29 - Ferguson - 1,200September 22 – Wetherspoon – 400 to 450September 22 – Whitbread – 6,000September 18 – Investec – 210September 15 – Waitrose – 124September 14 – London City Airport – 239September 9 – Lloyds Bank – 865September 9 – Pizza Hut – 450September 4 – Virgin Atlantic – 1,150September 3 – Costa – 1,650August 27 – Pret a Manger – 2,800 (includes 1,000 announced on July 6)August 26 – Gatwick Airport – 600August 25 – Co-operative Bank – 350August 20 – Alexander Dennis – 650August 18 – Bombardier – 95August 18 – Marks & Spencer – 7,000August 14 – Yo! Sushi – 250August 14 – River Island – 350August 12 – NatWest – 550August 11 – InterContinental Hotels – 650 worldwideAugust 11 – Debenhams – 2,500August 7 – Evening Standard – 115August 6 – Travelex – 1,300August 6 – Wetherspoons – 110 to 130August 5 – M&Co – 380August 5 – Arsenal FC – 55August 5 – WH Smith – 1,500August 4 – Dixons Carphone – 800August 4 – Pizza Express – 1,100 at riskAugust 3 – Hays Travel – up to 878August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at riskJuly 31 – Byron – 651July 30 – Pendragon – 1,800July 29 – Waterstones – unknown number of head office rolesJuly 28 – Selfridges – 450July 27 – Oak Furnitureland – 163 at riskJuly 23 – Dyson – 600 in UK, 300 overseasJuly 22 – Mears – fewer than 200July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at riskJuly 17 – Azzurri Group (owns Zizzi and Ask Italian) – up to 1,200July 16 – Genting – 1,642 at riskJuly 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseasJuly 15 – Banks Mining – 250 at riskJuly 15 – Buzz Bingo – 573 at riskJuly 14 – Vertu – 345 July 14 – DFS – up to 200 at riskJuly 9 – General Electric – 369July 9 – Eurostar – unknown numberJuly 9 – Boots – 4,000July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at riskJuly 9 – Burger King – 1,600 at riskJuly 7 – Reach (owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers) – 550July 6 – Pret a Manger – 1,000 at riskJuly 2 – Casual Dining Group (owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge) – 1,909July 1 – SSP (owns Upper Crust) – 5,000 at riskJuly 1 – Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500July 1 – Harrods – 700July 1 – Virgin Money – 300June 30 – Airbus – 1,700June 30 – TM Lewin – 600June 30 – Smiths Group – 'some job losses'June 25 – Royal Mail – 2,000June 24 – Jet2 – 102June 24 – Swissport – 4,556June 24 – Crest Nicholson – 130June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head officeJune 19 – Aer Lingus – 500June 17 – HSBC – unknown number of jobs in UK, 35,000 worldwideJune 15 – Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100June 15 – Travis Perkins – 2,500June 12 – Le Pain Quotidien – 200June 11 – Heathrow – at least 500June 11 – Bombardier – 600June 11 – Johnson Matthey – 2,500June 11 – Centrica – 5,000June 10 – Quiz – 93June 10 – The Restaurant Group (owns Frankie and Benny's) – 3,000June 10 – Monsoon Accessorise – 545June 10 – Everest Windows – 188June 8 – BP – 10,000 worldwideJune 8 – Mulberry – 375June 5 – Victoria's Secret – 800 at riskJune 5 – Bentley – 1,000June 4 – Aston Martin – 500June 4 – Lookers – 1,500May 29 – Belfast International Airport – 45May 28 – Debenhams (in second announcement) – 'hundreds' of jobsMay 28 – EasyJet – 4,500 worldwideMay 26 – McLaren – 1,200May 22 – Carluccio's – 1,000May 21 – Clarks – 900May 20 – Rolls-Royce – 9,000May 20 – Bovis Homes – unknown numberMay 19 – Ovo Energy – 2,600May 19 – Antler – 164May 15 – JCB – 950 at riskMay 13 – Tui – 8,000 worldwideMay 12 – Carnival UK (owns P&O Cruises and Cunard) – 450May 11 – P&O Ferries – 1,100 worldwideMay 5 – Virgin Atlantic – 3,150May 1 – Ryanair – 3,000 worldwideApril 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800April 29 – WPP – unknown numberApril 28 – British Airways – 12,000April 23 – Safran Seats – 400April 23 – Meggitt – 1,800 worldwideApril 21 – Cath Kidston – 900April 17 – Debenhams – 422March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268March 30 – BrightHouse – 2,400 at riskMarch 27 – Chiquito – 1,500 at risk
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