Ryanair reduces flights – EasyJet closes UK bases

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Ryanair has slashed a fifth of its flights for September and October after a fall in bookings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm said Monday.

It had previously planned to run 70% of its services in September

The cancellations will impact France, Spain and Sweden, as well as Ireland, Ryanair said, criticising countries that impose quarantine on countries “which have lower COVID-19 case rates over the last 14 days than Ireland”, such as Germany and the UK.

“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 spokesperson said.

Passengers who were due to travel in September have been informed while those due to travel in October will be informed later today.

Ryanair had previously declared net losses for €185 million after a 99% drop in passengers between April and June, and it forecasts a similar drop for the July-September quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, the other popular low-cost airline easyJet has confirmed plans to close its Stansted, Southend and Newcastle bases, putting 670 jobs at risk.

The move will mean outbound flights are reduced from Stansted and Newcastle, while inbound flights continue. Al flights in and out of Southend will end.

The airline says it will find alternative services or offer refunds for anyone already booked onto flights after September 1.

Johan Lundgren was reported saying “We have had to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel. “Working closely with our employee representatives, I am pleased that we have been able to identify ways to significantly reduce the number of proposed compulsory redundancies through providing enhanced voluntary redundancy packages for all UK crew alongside additional options like part time and seasonal contracts, base transfers and unpaid leave which we expect to result in reducing the number of job losses overall.”

The Telegraph / The Guardian

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