Irish low-cost airline Ryanair released its revised winter schedule. The airline plans to close three bases for the winter season due to increased flight restrictions imposed by the governments of European Union countries.
On October 15, 2020, Ryanair announced the winter-season closure of bases in Cork (ORK) and Shannon (SNN), both located in Ireland, as well as Toulouse (TLS) in France. The measure was taken after Ryanair’s decision to reduce its winter schedule from November 2020 until March 2021 as the airline predicted to face a decrease in its capacity from 60% to 40% in 2019. Irish air carrier also expected to maintain up to 65% of its winter-season route network.
Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair Group, said that due to increased air travel restrictions, which were imposed by the governments all across European Union, the amount of flights among such countries as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal has been heavily shortened.
“While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts they have been forced upon us by Government mismanagement of EU air travel. Our focus continues to be on maintaining as large a schedule as we can sensibly operate to keep our aircraft, our pilots and our cabin crew current and employed while minimizing job losses“, said O’Leary.
“It is inevitable, given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing more unpaid leave, and job sharing this winter in those bases where we have agreed reduced working time and pay, but this is a better short-term outcome than mass job losses,” added O‘Leary.
According to the statement, the air carrier had been operating on 16 routes out of Shannon (SNN) and 13 routes out of Cork (ORK). In comparison, the current amount of routes has been decreased to 3 routes out of Shannon (SNN) and 3 routes from Cork (ORK).
After reducing its full-year traffic guidance to 38 million in 2020, compared to 149 million in 2019, Ryanair warned that if air travel restrictions among European Union would stay in place, the airline could suffer a further fall.