Irish airline Ryanair on Monday announced a 20% reduction in the number of its flights in September and October, citing a drop in bookings due to an increase in cases of the new coronavirus in Europe. Ryanair, which had so far planned to run at 70% of its capacity in September, explains in a press release that it has no other choice but to revise the number of flights planned, in particular to France and Spain. , two countries targeted by the quarantine imposed by the British government.
The company explains that these reductions will mainly involve a reduction in flight frequencies rather than service stops. “This drop in capacity and in the frequency of flights for the months of September and October is inevitable given the recent low level of bookings in the wake of restrictions in place in certain European countries.“, Explains a spokesperson for Ryanair, quoted in the press release. Passengers affected by the cancellation of their flights in September have been warned and those far fewer who had booked for October will be during the day.
In addition to Spain and France, this drop in the number of flights will mainly concern Sweden and Ireland, which imposes a quarantine on passengers coming from the United Kingdom in particular. Ryanair is also asking the Irish government to amend its list of countries to which it imposes a quarantine, in order to exclude Germany in particular, where the cases are less numerous than in Ireland. This company announcement “low cost»Confirms that the hoped-for resumption of air traffic, after months of stoppage with confinements, is more difficult than expected given the still very active circulation of the virus in Europe.
The UK aviation sector, a key market for Ryanair, has made no secret of its concern over the UK’s decision to impose a quarantine on France, shortly after taking the same decision against the UK. Spain, a favorite summer destination for the British. To cope with the shock of the pandemic and a demand that should be depressed for a moment, Ryanair has already announced a restructuring plan which involves the elimination of 3,000 jobs, or 15% of its workforce. The pandemic resulted in a net loss of 185 million euros between April and June, the first quarter of its staggered fiscal year. The company has so far forecast a smaller loss in the second quarter (July to September) thanks to the resumption of traffic.
Friday, after confirmation by the British government that passengers from France would be subject to a fortnight, the airline group IAG, parent company of British Airways, had deplored a “coup” who does not “will hit the already struggling airline industry».
«Uncertainty for the sector is expected to persist as governments attempt the near-impossible gamble to reopen economies and contain the virus», Underlines Marc Kimsey, trader at Frederick & Oliver. “Without the miracle solution of a vaccine, the tourism sector will suffer for a long time», He warns.
For its part, the airline EasyJet confirmed Monday the closure of three bases in the United Kingdom, those of Stansted near London, Southend in the east of England and Newcastle in Scotland, from August 31. The Balpa union unveiled this project at the end of June and warned that 700 jobs could be cut. EasyJet, which is leading a restructuring plan providing for a total of up to 4,500 job cuts, says flights will still be provided to Stansted and Newcastle.