Ryanair makes further capacity cuts

Ryanair will reduce its October capacity by an additional 20% and has warned of more possible cuts over the winter months.

Europe’s largest ULCC Ryanair is making further capacity cuts next month, blaming “continuous changes” in EU government travel restrictions for denting bookings. 

The Irish airline will trim October capacity by 20%, on top of a 20% cut already announced in mid-August. Ryanair now expects next month’s capacity to fall from around 50% to 40% of its October 2019 levels. However, the ULCC said it should maintain a load factor of at least 70% at this reduced schedule. 

Ryanair said the reductions were necessary because of “damage” caused to forward bookings by changes in coronavirus travel restrictions and policies, many of which are being introduced at short notice.

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“We are disappointed to reduce our Oct capacity from 50% of 2019 to 40%. However, as customer confidence is damaged by government mismanagement of COVID travel policies, many Ryanair customers are unable to travel for business or urgent family reasons without being subjected to defective 14-day quarantines,” a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added it was “too early” to make final decisions on Ryanair’s winter schedule, which runs from November to March, but warned that if current trends and the “mismanagement” of restrictions continue then “similar capacity cuts may be required.”

Ryanair Group—which includes Ryanair, Buzz, Malta Air and Lauda—offered 14.4 million departure seats during October 2019 across almost 76,300 flights, data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows. The latest cuts suggest total capacity next month will be closer to 5.7 million seats.

Photo credit: Ryanair