Low-cost carrier Ryanair has reported a loss of €197 million for the first half of financial 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to extract a huge toll on the aviation sector.
The loss compares to a profit of €1.15 billion for the same period of last year.
Ryanair was forced to ground 99 per cent of its fleet from mid-March to the end of June as the coronavirus swept Europe.
Service was resume on July 1st, but the disruption meant the carrier welcomed only 17 million passengers over the six-month period, down from 86 million for the period in 2019.
The Covid-19 crisis has already caused the closure of a number of EU airlines including Flybe, Germanwings and Level as well as deep long-term capacity reductions at many others.
In the longer-term, Ryanair said this would allow it to grow its network and expand its fleet, as well as to take advantage of lower cost airport and aircraft opportunities which will “inevitably” arise.