Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, today (Mon 17th Aug) announced that it would reduce its flight capacity by 20% during the months of Sept & Oct as forward bookings have notably weakened over the last 10 days, given continuing uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries.
Ryanair confirmed that most of these cuts would be frequency reductions rather than route closures, and they will be heavily focused on those countries such as Spain, France and Sweden, where rising recent Covid case rates have led to increased travel restrictions, and Ireland which continues to impose a uniquely restrictive Green List, which imposes 14 day quarantines on visitors from most other EU countries such as Germany (16.3) and the UK (18.6), which have lower Covid case rates over the last 14 days than Ireland (22.1).
A Spokesperson for Ryanair said today:
“These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of Sept & Oct are necessary given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries. Any effected passengers in Sept received email notification earlier today advising them of their options. Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in Oct later today. Over the past 2 weeks as a number of EU countries have raised travel restrictions, forward bookings especially for business travel into Sept & Oct have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand over the next 2 months.
Proper testing at airports, and effective tracing (as is being conducted in Germany and Italy) is the only realistic and proportionate method of supervising safe intra-EU air travel while effectively limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”