Ryanair to slash autumn capacity by 20%

Flights out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport are set to be affected as restrictions on travel from countries such as Spain, France and Sweden has hit Ryanair bookings. Tony McDonough reports

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Ryanair is to cut capacity in September and October by 20%


Ryanair flights to European destinations from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) may be reduced in September and October as the airline reveals a 20% cut in capacity.

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. Rival easyJet has resumed flights on 22 routes from LJLA.

But new restrictions on travel from countries such as Spain, France and Sweden has led to a fall in bookings and subsequently Ryanair now intends to cut capacity on some routes. They stress that most of the cuts will be reductions in frequency rather than route closures.

In a statement, 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.”

In late July, Ryanair revealed the lockdowns across most of Europe earlier in the year due to coronavirus had a devastating effect on its business with losses in April, May and June coming in at €185m. Revenues plummeted 95% during the quarter.

The latest statement added: “Proper testing at airports, and effective tracing (as is being conducted in Germany and Italy) is the only realistic and proportionate method of supervising safe intra-EU air travel while effectively limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

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