Ryanair boss warns of ‘wild cuts’ for Portugal in coming low-season
Ryanair’s Human Resources director, Darrell Hughes, said in an interview with the Lusa news agency this week that there is “a real prospect of wild cuts in Portugal” throughout the winter season in terms of capacity and planes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
img decoding=”async” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/103ryanair-cuts.jpg” alt=”103ryanair cuts” width=”160″ height=”107″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />Ryanair’s Human Resources director, Darrell Hughes, said in an interview with the Lusa news agency this week that there is “a real prospect of wild cuts in Portugal” throughout the winter season in terms of capacity and planes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are facing very uncertain times”, he commented in the telephone interview.
Asked to give details and figures, the spokesman of the Irish low-cost airline said that “there is the possibility of wild cuts anywhere” in the company’s operation in Europe, referring to the announcement made on Monday that the company would cut 20% of its planned schedule for September and October.
“Any predictions for the winter now are likely to be wrong. We are keeping everything under great scrutiny, but we will have a lot less flights than we did last winter, that’s for sure”, said the official, considering that it to be nothing more than “speculation” to try to predict numbers regarding the reductions.
“What we have yet to determine is precisely where the cuts will fall, but we certainly think that some of these cuts will be in Portugal,” said the official. Hughes recalled that the company has an agreement with pilots “to keep people employed, which at least gives them some protection”, but stressed that the company “is not in recruitment mode”, but “in survival and reconstruction mode.”
The Ryanair director also stated that he does not plan to “use any Crewlink personnel in the winter”, in reference to the Portuguese temporary work agency that has been operating alongside Ryanair for the past 10 years.
The big picture is that on Monday, Irish airline Ryanair announced a 20% reduction in the number of flights in September and October, pointing to a drop in bookings due to an increase in Covid-19 cases throughout Europe.
Ryanair, which until now had planned to return to 70% of its capacity in September, explained in a statement that it has to reduce its planned flights, namely to France and Spain, two countries included in the mandatory-quarantine travel list imposed by the British Government.
In a statement, the company explained that the reductions are mainly due to a lower frequency of flights and not to service interruptions. “The drop in capacity and frequency of flights in September and October are inevitable in view of the recent reduction in reservations following restrictions in some European countries,” concluded a Ryanair spokesman quoted in the statement.