Ryanair announces new cuts in Spain and cancels more flight routes
The difficulties of the airline sector are again noticeable at Ryanair, as the Irish low-cost airline announced this morning (Thursday) that it will reduce its winter operations, between November and March, from the 60% initially expected compared to the previous year, to 40%.
Only 65% of the 2019 routes will be maintained, but with fewer flights with Ryanair arguing that the decision in the "increase of restrictions" in the fight against the coronavirus are to blame.
In addition, they have announced that there will be more cuts in cabin crew bases, especially in those in which cost reduction measures have not been agreed. Cuts will be made in Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Austria, with the closure during the winter season of the Irish bases in Cork, Shannon and the French in Toulouse. "It is inevitable, given the scale of the cuts, that we will implement lower wages" and other alternatives such as reductions in working hours, says the CEO of the Ryanair Group, Michael O'Leary.
Flights to and from much of Central Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal have been reduced “notably”, and the restriction measures have caused advance bookings to decrease slightly in October, and significantly in November and December.
With this reduction in winter capacity and operating at an occupancy level of approximately 70%, Ryanair expects their full fiscal year traffic to drop to around 38 million passengers, some 100 million less than last year. However, this forecast could be modified downwards if some EU governments “continue to mismanage air services and impose more restrictions”. The airline does not expect a normalization of travel until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus.
“While we deeply regret these cuts to winter schedules, we have been forced to carry them out due to government mismanagement of air services. We continue to focus on maintaining as long a schedule as possible to maintain our aircraft, our pilots, current cabin crew and employees, while minimizing job losses,” O'Leary said.
The company has once again urged all European Union governments to immediately and fully adopt the EU Commission's traffic light system, which enables the viability of safe flights between EU States at regional level.