March 3, 2020 / 10:43 AM / a month ago

Ryanair, IAG bosses see travel demand returning for summer

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair logo is pictured on the the jacket of a cabin crew member ahead of a news conference by Ryanair union representatives in Brussels, Belgium September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The bosses of Ryanair (RYA.I) and British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) expect the drop-off in travel demand to stabilize in the coming weeks, before bookings return for the summer, they said at a conference on Tuesday.

The heads of Europe’s biggest airlines gathered in Brussels as the rapid spread of coronavirus has forced them to cancel flights as demand for travel has slumped.

“We’re going to have a very deflated booking environment probably for the next two or three weeks,” said Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary.

“If it settles down over easter then people will rapidly begin to focus on summer travel,” he added.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh said he expected European demand to stabilize in the coming weeks, if the pattern in Europe is similar to that in Asia.

Reporting by Sarah Young

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