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Ryanair to Cut Flights & easyJet to Close Bases

Posted on 18th August 2020

Irish airline, Ryanair has announced it intends to cut its flights by 20% during September and October after it has experienced ‘notable weakened’ bookings over the past few days.

The airline has said the reason for the decrease is due to the current uncertainty regarding cases of COVID-19 in certain EU countries. As the UK has recently brought back quarantine periods of 14-days for those travellers returning from select countries including Spain and France, Ryanair’s cuts will be mainly focused on the countries that have led to the reinforcing of these quarantine rules.

After resuming its services back in July, Ryanair had then increased its flights by 60% during August. However, at the beginning of this week a spokesperson for the airline said, “These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of September and October are unavoidable given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries.”

Any passengers due to travel in September that have been affected have already been notified via email and given a range of options including moving flights or receiving cash or voucher reimbursements.

Ryanair’s rival, easyJet has announced that it will be closing its bases at Newcastle, Southend and Stanstead, resulting in 670 jobs being cut. It is believed that we could also see more job cuts from easyJet – up to the figure of 1200 – as it works through plans to reduce staffing numbers due to the pandemic.

Out of the airlines’ staff who have been at risk of redundancy, a significant 93% have chosen to take the voluntary ‘enhanced’ package which was offered to them. Under the enhanced voluntary package, they will receive a larger amount of money than they would via compulsory redundancy.

Chief Executive of easyJet, John Lundgren said that the decision to close the above-mentioned bases had been “very difficult” but that it was necessary due to the “unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions.”