Following the outbreak of COVID-19, many carriers cut their international capacity to the affected regions, especially China. However, as the virus spread to other parts of the world, short-haul flights in Europe were also put on the chopping block, with low-cost carriers being affected as well.
Wizz Air announced that the outbreak has negatively impacted the demand for air travel within Europe. As a result, the airline adjusted its flight schedule, primarily to Italy between March 11 and April 2, 2020. The company is considering cutting its capacity by 10% in Q1 FY2021, which begins April 1, 2020.
Furthermore, in an attempt to negate the negative financial impact of coronavirus, the Hungary-based low-cost carrier has started cost reduction initiatives, including suspending recruitment and non-essential travel, negotiating with suppliers and effectively allocating its assets to maximize their returns.
The purple-pink colored airline joins other low-cost carriers in Europe that had to adjust their capacity as a result of the falling demand stemming from the virus outbreak.
Ryanair announced that it would cut up to 25% of total Italian short-haul capacity from March 17 until April 8, 2020. The group’s executive Michael O’Leary stated that the financial impact of the outbreak to the airline’s Q1 FY2021 results would be “meaningful,” as the Dublin-based company expects a fall of 10% in forwarding bookings through April and “maybe May.”
“We could be down about 2 million passengers over that period,” added O’Leary, reports Reuters.
easyJet has also decided to cancel some flights, particularly to and from Italy, read a statement in the London Stock Exchange. The airline indicated that demand and load factors on flights in its Northern Italy bases softened significantly, with other markets in Europe also seeing slower demand on easyJet‘s network. Cost-cutting measures, including recruitment and promotion freezing, offering unpaid leave and negotiations with suppliers to reduce costs were all introduced.
AeroTime approached Norwegian Air Shuttle for comment.