Ryanair cuts flights as EU virus rates hit bookings

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EPA

Ryanair has announced that it will reduce its capacity by 20% in September and October following “noticeably weak” reservations in recent days.

The airline said the drop was due to “uncertainty over recent rates of Covid cases in some EU countries.”

He said the cuts would mainly be in the number of flights as opposed to road closures.

Ryanair said they would be “heavily focused” on countries where virus rates have led the UK and Ireland to reimpose travel restrictions.

The UK has reimposed 14-day quarantines on travelers from countries like Spain, France and Sweden. Ireland has similar travel restrictions for countries like Germany and the UK.

Ryanair had increased its flights to 60% of its normal schedule this month after services resumed in July.

But on Monday, a Ryanair spokesperson said: ‘These capacity and frequency reductions for September and October are inevitable given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of countries. of the EU.

“All affected passengers in September received an email notification earlier today to inform them of their options. ”

These include the ability for passengers to move flights and get refunds in cash or vouchers, in accordance with EU regulations.

Easyjet closes the bases

Meanwhile, rival airline Easyjet has confirmed it will close bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, with the loss of 670 jobs.

There could be as many as around 1,200 more job losses in the UK as Easyjet works under downsizing plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Reuters

The airline said in May it wanted to cut 4,500 jobs. It has not yet started consultations with its staff in other European countries.

Easyjet began consultations on its plans to close the hubs in June after the announcement of the downsizing.

The majority of crews at those bases have opted for voluntary redundancy, and that process will begin for pilots this week, a spokesperson said.

Of the total number of all crew members who were threatened with dismissal, 93% opted to take the voluntary package, which is “improved” – that is, they receive more money than through compulsory dismissal.

Johan Lundgren, managing director of Easyjet, said in a statement that the decision to close the bases was “very difficult”, and that it was taken due to “the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and the restrictions associated travel ”.

This has been made worse by quarantine measures in the UK which have hit demand for travel, he added.

The aviation industry has been hit hard by coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions.

In July, UK Ryanair cabin crew and pilots agreed to temporary pay cuts to reduce job losses.

In Germany, however, the airline said it would close its base at Frankfurt-Hahn airport after German pilots rejected the pay cuts.

British Airways wants to cut up to 12,000 jobs from its workforce of 42,000 and said 6,000 have volunteered to lay off.

In July, Dubai-based Emirates airline said up to 9,000 people could leave.

And aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs in June, while aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce will cut 8,000 jobs.

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