Ryanair are preparing for a price war against rival airlines once restrictions on the coronavirus are lifted.
CEO Michael O'Leary told Reuters that the recovery in air traffic will not be as slow as expected and will be driven by a massive reduction in fares by carriers - hence the price war - which only a few airlines will manage.
"In a short time, traffic volumes will return to a normal basis, but at lower prices. The moment we can start flying again, we will start selling seats and so will any other airline." O'Leary said.
However, according to O'Leary, the low-cost model and solid balance sheet will make Ryanair better prepared for a rate-driven recovery than other airlines and adds:
"2021 has every prospect of being an exceptional year in terms of earnings. Prices may be lower, but oil prices will also be lower and airports will cut fares to encourage traffic growth."
According to the fiery Irish manager, European flights will remain on the ground until June and subsequently there will be a resumption of travel within Europe driven by strong discounts on last minute holidays in July and August.
"Many people across northern Europe have been locked up in apartments. They will all want to go on vacation before the kids go back to school, as long as they can do it in reasonable safety." said O'Leary.
As regards containment measures, Ryanair supports the use of masks and the temperature control for passengers and crew, but rejects the possibility of leaving the central seats empty and therefore of reducing the aircraft capacity by a third.