Ryanair Cuts Capacity In Sept & Oct By Almost 20% As Forward Bookings Weaken

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CALLS ON IRISH GOVERNMENT TO ADD EU COUNTRIES WITH LOWER COVID CASE RATES TO IRELAND’S GREEN LIST

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, today (Mon 17th Aug) announced that it would reduce its flight capacity by 20% during the months of Sept & Oct as forward bookings have notably weakened over the last 10 days, given uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries.

Ryanair confirmed that most of these cuts would be frequency reductions rather than route closures, and they will be heavily focused on those countries such as Spain, France and Sweden, where rising recent Covid case rates have led to increased travel restrictions, and also Ireland, which continues to impose a uniquely restrictive Green List, which includes 14 day quarantines on visitors from most other EU countries such as Germany (16.3) and the UK (18.6), even though they have lower Covid case rates over the last 14 days than Ireland (22.1)

Ryanair called on the Irish Government to include those EU countries, with lower or similar Covid case rates, to Ireland’s Green List, without delay, so that business and other family related travel can resume in Sept (when schools reopen thereby removing the “risk” of EU family holidays) which would allow Germany (16.3), the UK (18.6), Austria (22.4), Portugal (26.0) and Poland (25.7) be added to the Irish Green List.

A Spokesperson for Ryanair said today:

These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of Sept & Oct are unavoidable given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries. Any effected passengers in Sept received email notification today advising them of their options. Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in Oct later today. Over the past 2 weeks as a number of EU countries have raised travel restrictions, forward bookings especially for business travel into Sept & Oct have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand over the next 2 months.

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 Sept & Oct once the schools reopen.

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. 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 travel while effectively limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”

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