By Tony Winterburn • 17 August 2020 • 16:09
Ryanair has cut flights by 20 per cent after it saw demand drop because of a rise in coronavirus cases across Europe.
THE budget carrier said bookings had ‘notably weakened’ in recent days amid uncertainty across Europe. France has recently been added to the UK’s ‘red list’ and now there is uncertainty over Croatia and Turkey as Covid rates in each country edge towards the UK’s ‘danger line’ for contagion levels.
Ryanair also said it is reducing flight numbers due to Ireland’s Green List travel guidance, which includes 14-day quarantine for visitors from most other EU countries.
In a statement, a Ryanair spokesman said: “These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of September and October are unavoidable given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries. Any affected passengers in September received email notification today advising them of their options.
“Over the past two weeks as a number of EU countries have raised travel restrictions, forward bookings, especially for business travel into September and October, have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand over the next two months.”
Government intervention required
The budget airline has called on the government to add EU countries with lower or similar Covid case rates to Ireland’s green list to allow business and family travel to resume in September. That would see Germany, the UK, Austria, Portugal and Poland added. Ireland’s 14-day Covid incidence rate is currently at 22.1, ahead of the countries Ryanair has named.
Stocks decline on the news
Ryanair shares were down 3 per cent, while British Airways owner IAG was the bigger faller in the FTSE 100, down 3.5 per cent. easyJet shares fell 1 per cent, while shares in German holiday giant TUI were down 4 per cent.
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