Ryanair flights: Ryanair slashes capacity by 20% amid ‘defective’ travel restrictions

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Ryanair announced today that it is slashing October capacity by 20 percent. The cuts come a month after a previous 20 percent cut was implemented in August. Ryanair said it now expects its capacity next month to fall from 50 percent to approximately 40 percent of its October 2019 levels.

The low-cost airline said it expects to maintain a 70 percent plus load factor at this reduced schedule.

Ryanair said in a statement that these capacity reductions “were necessary due to damage caused to forward bookings by continuous changes in EU Government travel restrictions and policies, many of which are introduced at short notice.”

They claimed this undermines consumers’ willingness to make forward bookings.

Ryanair slammed the travel rules as “excessive and defective”.

“In some countries (most notably Ireland), where the Government have maintained excessive and defective travel restrictions since July 1, COVID-19 rates have risen in recent weeks to 50 per 100,000 pop. – more than double those of Germany and Italy – where intra-EU air travel was freely permitted since July 1.”

Ryanair explained it welcomed the EU Commission’s plan to remove intra-EU travel restrictions, subject only to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) weekly update on COVID case/positive test trend rates by EU country and region.

The airline is calling for this coordinated approach to be immediately implemented by all EU States, especially Ireland.

Ryanair wants EU citizens to be able to make essential bookings for business and family travel, free from the worry of flight cancellations and/or “defective quarantine restrictions.”

The carrier has warned further cuts may have to be made beyond next month if travel rules don’t ease.

A Ryanair spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to reduce our October capacity from 50 percent of 2019 to 40 percent.

“However, as customer confidence is damaged by Government mismanagement of COVID travel policies, many Ryanair customers are unable to travel for business or urgent family reasons without being subjected to defective 14-day quarantines.

“While it is too early yet to make final decisions on our winter schedule (from November to March), if current trends and EU Governments’ mismanagement of the return of air travel and normal economic activity continue, then similar capacity cuts may be required across the winter period.

“We call on Ireland’s Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to explain why over two months later he still hasn’t implemented any of the 14 recommendations of the Governments Aviation Task Force which were submitted to Government on July 7 last.

“He should also explain why NPHET has kept Ireland locked up like North Korea since July 1, while at the same time Italy and Germany removed all intra-EU travel restrictions and have delivered COVID case rates which are less than half the rate, which NPHET has presided over in Ireland.

“Intra EU air travel is not the problem and these defective travel bans are not a solution.”

The most recent countries to be added to the quarantine list are Slovenia and Guadeloupe.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted yesterday: “Latest data shows we need to remove SLOVENIA and GUADELOUPE from the Travel Corridor list to keep everyone safe.

“This means if you arrive in the UK from these destinations after 4am Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said there has been “a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in both destinations”.

However, in better news, Singapore and Thailand have now been added to the travel corridor list.

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