Low-cost carrier Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has said that the company expects to operate 50% to up to 80% of 2019 levels mid-next year.

Reuters quoted O’Leary as saying: “We don’t expect at this stage that we will return to a full 2019 schedule.

“We have different plans that would vary anything from 50% of 2019 up to 80% of 2019.”

The expectation was revealed in a pre-recorded video presentation after presenting Ryanair’s six-month financial results.

The carrier saw its revenue drop by 78% to €1.18bn with traffic decreasing by 80% to €17.1m during the first half of this fiscal.

Since mid-March, the carrier grounded the group’s entire fleet until the end of June as the European (EU) Governments imposed flight or travel bans and widespread population lockdowns.

Additionally, it entered an agreement with its employees and unions regarding pay cuts to minimise job losses.

The company said in a statement: “FY21 will continue to be a hugely challenging year for Ryanair.

“Given the current Covid-19 uncertainty, Ryanair cannot provide FY21 PAT guidance at this time.

“The group expects to carry approximately 38 million passengers in FY21, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more uncoordinated travel restrictions or lockdowns this winter.

“The group expects to record higher losses in H2 than in H1.”

In September, Ryanair issued an €850m Eurobond at a fixed 2.875% for five years.

The carrier raised gross proceeds of nearly €400m through a non-pre-emptive placing of new ordinary shares the same month.