Its seems all is not well at Ryanair, with the airline planning to cut its capacity down to 40% for the November/December – down from the planned 60% operation
As travel restrictions increase due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and governments increasing their restrictions (the airline calls out Central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal), bookings have weakened in October, November and December.
With Ryanair attempting to operate with a 70% load factors, the airline has taken a slice of its network, down to 40%. 65% of the route network will operate – but check the timetables.
In addition, crew bases are being shuttered due to the lack of demand for winter. These include:
Additional base aircraft cuts have been announced already in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Vienna.
In a remark, the airline notes:
Ryanair now expects full year (FY21) traffic to fall to approx. 38m guests, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU Govts continue to mismanage air travel and impose more lockdowns this winter.
Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary said:
“We have continued to flex our capacity in Sept & Oct to reflect both market conditions and changing Government restrictions, with the objective of sustaining a 70% load factor, which allows us operate as close to breakeven as possible and minimise cash burn. While the Covid situation remains fluid and hard to predict, we must now cut our full year traffic forecast to 38m guests.
While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts they have been forced upon us by Government mismanagement of EU air travel. 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. It is inevitable, given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing more unpaid leave, and job sharing this winter in those bases where we have agreed reduced working time and pay, but this is a better short term outcome than mass job losses. There will regrettably be more redundancies at those small number of cabin crew bases, where we have still not secured agreement on working time and pay cuts, which is the only alternative. We continue to actively manage our cost base to be prepared for the inevitable rebound and recovery of short haul air travel in Europe once an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed.
In the meantime, we urge all EU Governments to immediately, and fully, adopt the EU Commission’s Traffic Light System, which allows for safe air travel between EU states on a regional basis to continue (without defective travel restrictions) for those countries and regions of Europe, who are able to demonstrate that their Covid case rates are less than 50 per 100,000 population.”
Winter is coming
With the rise of COVID-19 cases in Europe, it was only a matter of time before governments took the action to restrict travel – once again, leaving airlines in the lurch.
And there’s plenty to be done to bring down COVID-19 cases at a governmental level, let alone restoring air travel links.
Survival will be the name of the game for Winter 2020.
The question is – who will survive?
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