Ryanair cuts winter capacity to 40% on new Covid restrictions
Budget airline Ryanair said it was cutting planned winter capacity by a third due to the latest round of travel restrictions across Europe.
The carrier on Thursday said it now expected to fly 40% of the capacity it flew last year, down from an earlier forecast of 60%.
Bases will be closed in Cork and Shannon in Ireland and Toulouse in France with significant cuts in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Vienna, it added.
Ryanair now expected to fly 38m passengers in the year to March 31, 2021, down from September’s forecast of 50m and from 149m flown last year.
That guidance could be further revised downwards “if EU governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more lockdowns this winter”, said chief executive Michael O’Leary.
“Our focus continues to be on maintaining as large a schedule as we can sensibly operate to keep our aircraft, our pilots and our cabin crew current and employed while minimising job losses”
The airline will maintain up to 65% of its winter route network, but with reduced frequencies. New travel restrictions in recent weeks led to forward bookings weakening slightly in October, but materially in November and December.
It also warned of more job losses at cabin crew bases where pay cuts had not been agreed and planned to implement more unpaid leave and job sharing.