Ryanair cuts Sept, Oct flights as virus hits demand

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Ryanair will cut its September and October timetable by "20 percent" on weaker-than-expected demand following renewed virus-linked travel restrictions in some European countries, the Irish airline said Monday.

"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," the no-frills carrier said in a statement.

Ryanair said the cuts to flights "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".

The reduction will also hit Ireland, as the country has imposed 14-day quarantines on visitors from most other EU countries, notably Germany and the UK, Ryanair added.

"Over the past two weeks as a number of EU countries have raised , forward bookings especially for business ... have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand," the statement said.

Having grounded almost its entire fleet in April-June, Ryanair resumed flights from July 1, with an aim of operating around 70 percent of its schedule in September.

The deadly COVID-19 outbreak has ravaged the global aviation sector, sparking heavy losses, job cuts, bankruptcies and state rescue plans.

© 2020 AFP

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