Ryanair reports 83% drop in traffic as Covid crisis continues to plague travel sector

Ryanair reports 83% drop in traffic as Covid crisis continues to plague travel sector

RYANAIR’S December traffic was down by 83 per cent the no frills airline confirmed yesterday.

The Irish firm, headed up by Group CEO Michael O’Leary, flew just 1.9million passengers in total in December 2020 – which would usually be one of their busy months.

That marks a huge drop from the 11.2million passengers it carried in December 2019.

In figures reported on January 5, the firm confirmed it operated approximately 22 per cent of its normal December schedule last month, with a 73 per cent load factor.

On a rolling annual basis, the budget airline served 52.1m passengers, down 66 per cent from 152.4 million in 2019.

Ryanair stated “Covid-19 continues to impact traffic”, as they released the figures.

The news comes shortly after the airline was forced to cancel 12 UK routes due to changes implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) on December 20, 2020, which Ryanair claimed made “the operation of these routes impossible”.

“Only 10 days away from the end of the Brexit transition phase, the CAA’s Director David Kendrick has inexplicably introduced new regulatory barriers in the way of Ryanair’s UK airline, forcing Ryanair UK to cancel 12 important routes from the UK’s regions at a time when they need reliable, low fare connectivity more than ever before,” the airline stated.

A Ryanair spokesperson explained: “We are disappointed to have to cancel 12 UK domestic and international (Morocco and Ukraine) routes from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast and Derry, because of the CAA’s unexpected policy-shift.”

They added: “Ryanair UK had agreed Brexit contingency arrangements with the CAA 2 years ago and cannot comply with its new and impractical requirements at 10 days’ notice.

“We call on the CAA’s David Kendrick and his management colleagues to respect this long-standing agreement and the CAA’s own established policy in order to facilitate the return of these routes as soon as possible.

“We wish to ensure that UK consumers can continue to avail of Ryanair’s wide choice of destinations and Europe’s lowest fares after Brexit.

“Sadly, the CAA does not share our vision for the UK’s connectivity and would rather have airlines jump through new unnecessary hoops while consumers face less choice, less competition and higher fares.”