Ryanair has slashed its full-year traffic forecast againand said that few, if any flights will operate to or from the Republic of Ireland or Britain from the end of January onwards until “draconian travel restrictions are removed.”
The airline said it now expects to carry between 26 million and 30 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March due to the Covid crisis. This marks the fifth time Ryanair has revised its full-year traffic forecast. It had recentlyforecast traffic of between 30 million to 35 million passengers.
The carrier said the reduction in flights would not materially affect its net loss for the year as many of them would have been loss making.
Ryanair said on Thursday that due to newly announced Covid lockdowns in Ireland, Britain and a number of continental European countries, its expects traffic for January to fall below 1.25 million passengers. It also forecasts that restrictions will likely reduce February and March traffic to as little as 500,000 passengers each month.
The airline said it will “significantly cut” its flight schedules from January 21st with the result that “few, if any, flights” will operate from the Republic or Britain from the end of January.
All customers affected by these further flight cancellations and travel restrictions will shortly receive emails advising them of their entitlements of free moves and/or refunds.
Ryanair operated 22 per cent of its normal schedlue last month with a 73 per cent load factor.
The airline criticised both the Irish Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), the latter of which is accused of mismanaging many aspects of the country’s Covid response. It called on both the Irish and British governments to accelerate the slow pace of vaccine rollouts.
“Since Ireland’s third lockdown will not get rid of the Covid virus, there is an onus on the Irish Government to accelerate the rollout of vaccines, and the fact that the Danish Government, with a similar five million population, has already vaccinated 10 times more citizens than Ireland shows that emergency action is needed to speed Covid vaccinations in Ireland,” he added.