Europe’s biggest budget airline has cut one in five flights in October. It says that because of the travel restrictions by the government is affecting the number of bookings.
However, the airline now plans to fly only 40 percent of its October 2019 schedule next month. Because the number of passengers has decreased to 30 percent as compared to last year’s levels. The airline decides to cut the number of flights because of lower loads on the planes that do operate.
Blaming the Government
The carrier blames “continuous changes in EU government travel restrictions and policies. Many of which are introduced at short notice, which undermines consumers’ willingness to make forward bookings”.
A spokesperson said, “Many Ryanair customers are unable to travel for business or urgent family reasons without quarantine requirement of 14 days.”
In addition, he said, “If current trends and EU governments’ mismanagement of the return of air travel and normal economic activity continues. Then similar capacity cuts may apply to across the winter period.”
The Irish airline was particularly critical of the authorities in Dublin. It says they had kept “Ireland locked up like North Korea”.
“Intra-EU air travel is not the problem and these defective travel bans are not a solution,” the airline said.
Therefore, visitors coming from the UK will have to quarantine for two weeks when arriving in the Republic of Ireland.
However, figures from the airports’ body ACI Europe show that passenger numbers in August recovered to 35 percent of 2019 levels in August. But they have now slipped back to 27 percent of last year.
Thomas Reynaert, managing director of the pressure group Airlines for Europe (A4E) said.
“With an estimated 55 percent fewer flights, an overall revenue loss of some €140bn [£128bn] across the European aviation industry. And a growing number of frustrated travelers. It’s about time that Europe shows some leadership in getting travel restrictions coordinated properly across the continent.”
However, the airline’s management says that they have rejected boarding more than 20,000 passengers this summer “due to the chaotic, fragmented situation”.
But Ryanair’s move coincides with an unprecedented industry appeal to the European Commission president from organizations representing more than 5,000 businesses – from airlines and holiday companies to amusement parks and campsites.
A Request Letter
However, in an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen, they say that Europe must cut restrictions and come up with a common plan for coronavirus testing for travelers “to save the livelihoods of more than 27 million Europeans who work in the sector”.
The letter says, “This chaotic situation requires your immediate personal involvement.”
“Extreme travel restrictions – in particular quarantines – are anything but risk-based. They are not an effective way to fight the epidemic.”
“Beyond the huge economic and human costs involved. The freedom of movement of people and the principle of non-discrimination. The core pillars and essential purpose of the European project – are at risk.”
“The current situation amounts to an existential threat for many of our companies and our employees. Who for years have contributed to making the ideals and objectives of a united Europe a reality.”