Ryanair passenger numbers down 50 per cent amid quarantine chaos

posted on 2nd September 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Ryanair passenger numbers down 50 per cent amid quarantine chaos

Budget carrier Ryanair flew 7m passengers last month, nearly half the number it carried in August last year, as demand for air travel continued to grow despite the UK’s quarantine regime.

Operating 60 per cent of its normal schedule for the month, the airline said the number of passengers was 53 per cent below last August, when it flew 14.9m people.

However, the figure was a sizeable increase on July, when it flew 4.4m people, and June, when just 400,000 people took to the skies.

In total, UK’s largest airline said that it had carried 88.9m passengers this year so far, down 40 per cent on 2019.

The jump comes despite the UK government reimposing 14-day quarantine restrictions on many of Ryanair’s most popular destinations over the last month and a half.

Since July, countries including France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia have all been taken off the travel corridors list by ministers, delivering a thumping blow to a travel industry still in the early stage of recovery.

According to reports, Portugal and Greece are in the running to have self-isolation measures reimposed when ministers review the policy this week.

Both countries have seen a recent surge in cases. The former, which normally attracts about 2m Brits every year, was only added to the travel corridors list two weeks ago.

Last night the Scottish government announced that those returning from Greece would have to quarantine from 4am tomorrow.

Ryanair has said that it will cut 20 per cent of its flying capacity in September and August to account for the new restrictions.

Meanwhile, Hungarian carrier Wizz Air said that it had flown 2.4m passengers last month, operating at 80 per cent capacity.

However, due to new restrictions on foreign travel being imposed in its home market, it has reduced its forecast for the next quarter to 60 per cent capacity.

The announcement knocked about five per cent off the carrier’s share price yesterday, and the decline continued today, with the FTSE 250 stock down nearly two per cent in the morning’s trading.