Ryanair cuts capacity by a fifth as bookings weaken

Linda J. Dodson

Ryanair has slashed flight capacity by a fifth for September and October after demand was hammered by a surge in coronavirus cases across Europe over the past 10 days.

The carrier said the cuts will not involve fewer flights on affected routes instead of outright closures. They will focus heavily on France, Spain and Sweden, where rising Covid-19 case rates has led to tougher travel restrictions.

The move makes Ryanair the first European airline to scale back its schedule since flights resumed in July, and comes as a further blow to the embattled industry as hopes of recovering some of its lucrative summer season fade. 

 and the Netherlands were last week added to the UK’s quarantine list, joining Luxembourg, Belgium and Spain. 

Ryanair once again called for proper Covid testing to take place at airports alongside an effective tracing system, sating it is the only safe way to bring back travel within the European Union while still keeping Covid under control.

The carrier also hit out at the Irish government for imposing a particularly tough quarantine list that includes countries with lower virus case rates, such as Germany and the UK. 

It came as rival easyJet confirmed plans to shut bases at London Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 670 jobs at risk. 

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