Irish low-cost airline Ryanair announced on Thursday that it would reduce planned winter capacity by a third due to a wave of travel restrictions with which European governments are trying to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Europe’s largest low-cost airline expects to fly with 40 percent of last year’s capacity this winter, instead of the 60 percent projected so far.
The company will maintain up to 65 percent of the winter route network, but with a reduced frequency of flights.
They expect to carry 38 million passengers in the fiscal year to March 31, 2021, reducing the September forecast by 12 million. In 2019, they transported 149 million.
That estimate could be further reduced if governments impose more blockades and further restrict travel, the group's chief executive Michael O'Leary said.
"We deeply regret this reduction in the winter timetable, but we are forced to do so due to the poor management of air travel by the EU. Our focus continues to be on keeping the schedule as tight as possible, within reasonable limits,” O’Leary said.
A new wave of travel restrictions in recent weeks has caused a slight weakening of bookings for October, but significantly for November and December.
Ryanair plans to close bases in Cork and Shannon in Ireland, and in Toulouse, France, with significant cuts in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Vienna, the statement said.