Ryanair Group is forecasting a loss of more than €200 million for the first quarter, double the figure it estimated at the beginning of May, with a smaller loss in the second.

The company is forecasting that it will transport fewer than 80 million passengers for the fiscal year 2020-21 – about half the number originally expected.

Ryanair Group has turned in a full-year net profit of €649 million for 2019-20, after it took an exceptional charge of €353 million for fuel hedging ineffectiveness.

Grounding of the fleet as a consequence of government coronavirus pandemic restrictions reduced the company’s net profit by more than €40 million, it adds.

The overall profit figure was down by more than a quarter on the previous year’s €885 million.

Without the exceptional charge, says the company, its profit would have exceeded €1 billion, as revenues rose by 10% to €8.5 billion.

Ryanair Group warns that the current financial year will be “difficult” as it embarks on discussions on base closures and up to 3,000 job losses primarily affecting pilots and cabin crew.

It has not given any guidance on net profit for the year, citing the uncertainty over the duration and impact of the pandemic and “no visibility” on customer behaviour and demand following return to service.

But it is expecting a “substantial decline” in traffic and “significant price discounting” on fares.