Ryanair Cuts Flights After Increase in EU Virus Rates
Monday, 17 Aug 2020
Ryanair have announced they will cut 20% of their overall flying capacity in September and October following “notably weakened” bookings over the past few days.
The airline says the fall in bookings was driven by “uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries”.
Recent weeks have seen coronavirus cases surge in Spain and France, forcing the UK government to re-impose 14-day quarantine rules for arrivals from affected countries.
The 20% capacity reduction will be “heavily focused” on the countries where increasing transmission of the virus has led both the UK and Ireland to reintroduce travel restrictions. Meanwhile, Ryanair say the cuts will largely be in flight numbers as opposed to route closures.
After resuming services in July, the low-budget airline had increased capacity to 60% of its normal schedule.
A spokesman said the “capacity cuts and frequency reductions” for the upcoming months was “unavoidable” given the recent downturn in forward bookings. Further, any passengers affected by the decision should have received an email advising them of their options.
Under EU regulations, Ryanair is obliged to issue customers with cash or voucher refunds. The airline is also allowing passengers to move their flights to a later date.
Meanwhile, rivals easyJet have confirmed it will close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, amounting to the loss of 670 jobs. In May, they announced the plan to cut up to 4,500 jobs from its workforce.
A large majority of pilots and crew at the bases have opted for an “enhanced” voluntary redundancy package, meaning they will get more money than they would through a compulsory redundancy.
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