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Ryanair to cancel a fifth of flights in September and October

Written by: Emma Lunn
The budget airline is reducing capacity by almost 20% as forward bookings weaken due to quarantine rules.

Ryanair said bookings have notably reduced over the past 10 days.

The weekend saw France, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands, Aruba and the Netherlands kicked off the safe travel list.

Passengers arriving back from these destinations after 4am on Saturday need to self-isolate for two weeks due to rises in Covid-19 infections in these destinations.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also updated its travel advice to these destinations – advising against all but essential travel.

The Government re-imposed a mandatory 14-day isolation period for anyone entering the UK from Spain at the end of July.

Ryanair said most of the flight cuts would be frequency reductions rather than route closures, and they would be heavily focused on countries where rising recent Covid case rates have led to increased travel restrictions.

Ryanair pointed out that Ireland continues to impose a “uniquely restrictive” Green List, which imposes 14-day quarantine on visitors from most other EU countries such as Germany and the UK, which have had lower Covid case rates over the past 14 days than Ireland.

It called on the Irish government to amend the Green List of safe countries.

A spokesperson for 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 effected passengers in September received email notification earlier today advising them of their options. Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in October later today.

“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.

“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.”

The news of the Ryanair flight reductions came on the same day EasyJet confirmed it was closing its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports, and the day after Jet2 announced plans to make 102 pilots redundant.

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