Ryanair cuts one-in-three winter flights and warns of further job losses
Ryanair is cutting the number of its winter flights by a third because of Covid flight restrictions across the EU and warned of further job losses as passenger numbers plummet.
The budget airline previously cut the number of flights in October down to around 40% of normal levels, but is now extending the capacity cut for the full winter season from November to March, down from the 60% previously planned. It is still hoping to keep its planes 70% full, in order to break even and “minimise cash burn.”
Airline and aerospace job cuts on back of Covid-19 crisis
Airbus – 1,700 jobs
30 June: The European planemaker announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs, including 1,700 in the UK, as it warned the coronavirus pandemic had triggered the “gravest crisis” in its history.
Swissport – 4,500 jobs
24 June: Swissport, which handles passenger baggage and cargo for airlines, has begun a consultation process to make 4,556 workers redundant, more than half of its 8,500 UK workforce.
Bombardier – 600 jobs
11 June: The Canadian planemaker will cut 600 jobs in Northern Ireland, as part of 2,500 redundancies announced in June.
Rolls-Royce – 9,000 jobs
3 June: The jet-engine manufacturer has confirmed that 3,000 job cuts, of a planned 9,000 worldwide, will be made in sites in the UK.
easyJet – 4,500 jobs
28 May: The airline has announced plans to cut 4,500 employees, or 30% of its workforce, as it prepared for lower demand.
Tui – 8,000 jobs
13 May: Travel company Tui plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs worldwide in response to the coronavirus chaos engulfing the tourism industry.
Virgin Atlantic – 3,000 jobs
5 May: Richard Branson’s airline is to cut more than 3,000 jobs, more than a third of its workforce, and will shut its operations at Gatwick.
Ryanair – 3,000 jobs
1 May: The Irish airline intends to slash 3,000 roles and reduce staff pay by up to a fifth.
Aer Lingus – 900 jobs
1 May: The Irish flag carrier, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), plans to cut 900 jobs.
British Airways – 12,000 jobs
28 April: The UK flag carrier plans to make up to 12,000 of its staff redundant, a reduction of one in four jobs at the airline, with cabin crew, pilots and ground staff affected.
Meggitt – 1,800 jobs
23 April: British engineering company Meggitt plans to shed about 1,800 jobs making parts for commercial aviation.
Safran – 400 jobs
23 April: French aircraft seat maker Safran made 400 job cuts at its UK operations, including a plant in Cwmbran.
Flybe – 400 jobs
5 March: Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, collapsed into administration with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs, less than two months after a government bailout.
“There will regrettably be more redundancies at those small number of cabin crew bases, where we have still not secured agreement on working time and pay cuts, which is the only alternative,” the Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said.
“While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts they have been forced upon us by government mismanagement of EU air travel,” he added.
The airline said it was “inevitable” that pilots and cabin crew would also have to take more unpaid leave and participate in job sharing this winter, but said it was a better outcome than “mass job losses”.
Ryanair said it would maintain most of its winter route network, but offer fewer flights. It is already temporarily shutting bases in Cork and Shannon in Ireland and in Toulouse, France, this winter. It will now cut the number of flights from bases including Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Vienna.
The airline has also slashed its full-year traffic forecast to 38 million passengers, down from previous forecasts of 50 million. Around 149 million passengers were flown last year. Ryanair warned “this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more lockdowns this winter”.
“We continue to actively manage our cost base to be prepared for the inevitable rebound and recovery of short haul air travel in Europe once an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed,” O’Leary said.
It comes amid news that the the quarantine period for travellers arriving in the UK could be cut to a week from 14 days under a “test and release” scheme being considered by the government’s taskforce.
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said the new regime would require a single coronavirus test, to be taken about a week after arrival and paid for privately.
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