June 12, 2020 / 2:44 PM / 22 days ago

Ryanair sees losses in first two quarters of financial year

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dublin, Ireland, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Ryanair is likely to book losses in the first and second quarters of its current financial year due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the company confirmed on Friday.

“The group expects to record a loss of over 200 million euros ($226 million) in Q1, with a smaller loss expected in Q2,” Ryanair said in an emailed statement.

Spain’s Expansion newspaper had earlier reported that Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said that losses could run to as much as 300 million euros in the financial year to March 2021. Ryanair said that O’Leary had been misquoted in the article.

“Ryanair has not provided new guidance since May 18,” the company said, adding that it could not provide forecasts for the financial year as a whole.

The airline had said in May that it expects to post a loss of a little more than 200 million euros in the three months to the end of June. Making a profit forecast for the year to March 2021 was impossible, O’Leary said at that time.

The July-September period, the second quarter for Ryanair, is its busiest period as it covers the peak summer holiday season.

Ryanair reported a profit after tax of 1 billion euros for the year to the end of March 2020.

Ryanair has joined forces with British Airways and easyJet to launch legal action against the British government’s quarantine policy to try to overturn what they see as overly strict rules that will hamper their efforts to get passengers flying again.

($1 = 0.8846 euros)

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Louise Heavens and Keith Weir

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