May 18, 2020 / 9:24 AM / 15 days ago

BRIEF-Ryanair CEO reports spike in bookings but says 'flying blind'

May 18 (Reuters) - Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary in introductoary remarks on investor conference call:

* SAYS WEEKEND BOOKINGS UP OVER 50% VERSUS PREVIOUS WEEKEND; FROM A VERY LOW BASE

* SAYS Q1 LOSS AROUND 200 MILLION EUROS, ‘UNDER 300 MILLION’

* HAVE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT SPIKE UP IN BOOKINGS

* WE WOULD BE LUCKY TO SEE A 50% LOAD FACTOR IN Q2; HOPEFUL OF 75% LOAD FACTOR FOR WINTER

* ‘WE ARE REALLY FLYING BLIND AT THE MOMENT’

* ‘WE HAVEN’T A BULL’S NOTION’ ON PRICE LEVELS FOR COMING MONTHS

* SAYS CASH BURN IS CLOSE TO ZERO

* 50-60% LOAD FACTOR WOULD MEAN RYANAIR ‘CLOSE TO BREAK-EVEN’

* IF NO AGREEMENT ON PAY CUTS, THERE WILL BE EVEN GREATER JOB LOSSES

* POTENTIAL 300 JOB LOSSES IN LAUDA IN VIENNA

* EXPECTS ‘MASSIVELY DISTORTED’ MARKET IN EU FOR NEXT 4-5 YEARS DUE TO STATE AID

* SAYS ITALIAN AUTHORITIES THREATENING TO IMPOSE ALITALIA TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON OTHER AIRLINES OPERATING IN ITALY

* CASH BURN IS 10-15 MILLION EUR PER WEEK EXCLUDING FUEL SURCHARGE

* THINKS REASONABLE PROSPECT WILL GET SOME MAX AIRCRAFT IN LAST QUARTER OF 2020, FIRST QUARTER 2021

* EXPECT MEASURES BY SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND GREECE ON ENABLING TOURISM; HOPES UK WILL BE EMBARRASSED INTO DROPPING COVID QUARANTINE (Reporting By Conor Humphries)

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