A Ryanair Boeing 737 - 8AS approaches for landing at the Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia. | TOMS KALNINS

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said he was optimistic that people in Britain would be able to travel internationally from May, but warned if that weren't the case it would be a difficult summer for the aviation industry.

"I still remain optimistic that people will be allowed to travel from May onwards," he told the BBC, citing Britain's advanced vaccination programme and government's decision to go ahead with local elections as a sign the lockdown restrictions will begin easing soon.

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"Many companies will not see their way through next winter if we go through a second summer of no bookings."