Ryanair operating at just 1% of capacity amid Covid-19 crisis - but airline still set to make €1bn profit
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Ryanair operating at just 1% of capacity amid Covid-19 crisis - but airline still set to make €1bn profit

RYANAIR has seen its fleet of operational aircraft reduced to less than half its capacity amid the coronavirus crisis.

The airline expects to carry "minimal if any”"traffic this April and May as the pandemic forces its fleet to stay largely grounded.

Both depressed demand and government restrictions have forced Ryanair to stop flying, slashing the number of passengers it carries.

The company said that the number of passengers it carried in March was 48% lower than the same month last year.

It is currently flying less than 20 daily flights, compared to its usual 2,500.

Despite the collapse in numbers, and the predicted continuation of travel restrictions, the company still forecasts to make around €1 billion in profits this year.

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They announced on Friday that they still expected its profits to fall within previous guidance for its 2020 financial year, which ran to 31 March. It now expects pre-tax profits of between €950m ($1.03bn, £832m) and €1bn ($1.08bn, £875m), at the lower end of expected levels.

It said: "This is due to the response of EU governments to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which have since mid-March included widespread flight bans and travel restrictions which have closed Europe's skies to all but a tiny number of rescue and medical flights.

"The airline expects its fleet to remain largely grounded for at least April and May,” it added.

"Ryanair Group Airlines continue to work with EU governments to maintain minimum flight links for emergency reasons, and to operate rescue and medical flights when requested to do so."