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Ryanair to cut a fifth of its flights in September and October as restrictions hit bookings

The airline also took aim at the Irish government over the operation of the Green List.
Aug 17th 2020, 1:29 PM 26,426 22

RYANAIR IS TO cut a fifth of its flights for the next two months after bookings dived on the back of new coronavirus travel restrictions.

The budget airline said it will reduce its flight capacity by 20% in September and October after forward bookings “notably weakened” in recent days.

It reported a drop-off in flight bookings over the past 10 days driven by “uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries”.

The cuts will reduce the frequency of flights from countries such as Spain, France and Sweden, it said.

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.

“Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in October later today.

“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.”

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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.

The spokesman added: “We again call on the Irish Government to amend its Green List of travel counties to include those EU countries with lower or similar 14-day Covid case rates, most notably Germany whose Covid case rate is 25% lower than Ireland, and which will allow for some resumption of normal business and economic travel in September and October.

Ireland’s isolationist Green List has failed to prevent this recent rise in Covid case rates, despite Ireland having the most restrictive travel quarantine of any EU country since 1 July last. This is in marked contrast to the performance of Italy, where the 14 day Covid case rate is less than half of Ireland’s, despite the fact that Italy has been open to EU travel and tourism since 1 July.

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