Ryanair says it will cut its capacity for the next two months by 20 per cent, blaming a weakening in forward bookings over the last ten days.

The carrier said that most of the cuts will come in the form of frequency reductions rather than route closures, and would focus on services to Spain, France and Sweden, “where rising recent Covid case rates have led to increased travel restrictions, and Ireland which continues to impose a uniquely restrictive Green List, which imposes 14 day quarantines on visitors from most other EU countries such as Germany (16.3) and the UK (18.6), which have lower Covid case rates over the last 14 days than Ireland (22.1)”.

The group previously said that it was expecting to have flown around 60 per cent of its normal schedule in August, and “hopefully” 70 per cent in September.

Last month Ryanair reported a first quarter loss of €185 million, as Covid-19 caused a fall in traffic over the period from 42 million passengers to just 500,000.

Ryanair reports €185 million first quarter loss

Commenting on the news a spokesperson for the carrier said:

“These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of September and  October are necessary given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries.

“Any affected passengers in September received email notification earlier today advising them of their options. Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in October later today.

“Over the past two weeks as a number of EU countries have raised travel restrictions, forward bookings especially for business travel into September and October have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand over the next two months.

“Proper testing at airports, and effective tracing (as is being conducted in Germany and Italy) is the only realistic and proportionate method of supervising safe intra-EU air travel while effectively limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”