Earlier this week Ryanair announced a 20% cut to capacity in September and October due to new COVID-19 restrictions and a fall in bookings – here are the Liverpool routes affected. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) will lose 14 Ryanair flights a week to destinations in Ireland Spain and Portugal after the airline slashed its autumn capacity by 20%.
Since the easing of the UK COVID-19 lockdown in June and July, the Irish carrier has resumed flights on 27 of its normal 30-plus destinations out of Liverpool. But a resurgence of the virus in parts of Europe have led to new restrictions and plummeting bookings.
Consequently, Ryanair has decided to cut the number of flights to a number of destinations in September and October. Out of the 14 weekly flights from Liverpool, 11 are on routes to the Republic of Ireland, including Dublin, Cork and Knock. The carrier is also cutting two weekly flights to Girona in Spain and one to Porto in Portugal.
In a statement earlier this week, Ryanair said: “These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of September and October are necessary given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to COVID restrictions in a number of EU countries.
“Any affected passengers in Sept received email notification earlier today advising them of their options. Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in October.
“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.”
Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the aviation sector with the number of European airlines seeking state bailouts. Liverpool’s town main carriers – Ryanair and easyJet – have stronger balance sheers and have not had to seek bailouts. However, they have seen revenues plummet and have had to raise extra cash.
Airports have also been badly affected by the lockdowns. In early August, LJLA secured a £34m loan from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to provide stability during the turbulent period.