«Returning to flying in the Bel Paese is a source of great pride for us and confirms the importance of the Italian market for the Air France-Klm Group. In recent weeks we have put in place all the necessary measures to fly safely and we are now ready to start again, already in June and in view of the imminent tourist season, with more than 15% of our flights to and from Italy Says Stefan Vanovermeir, General Manager of Air France-Klm East Mediterranean.
And while AirFrance “unblocks” the flow of its carriers to our country, the Irish low cost airline Ryanair, recorded a significant increase in bookings for July flights from the UK to Italy, Spain and Portugal. This was stated by airline CEO Michael O’Leary adding that he is “reasonably” sure that, given the booking trend of the last few days, the planes will be 50% -60% full when they restart 40% of the fleet.
“Over the past weekend – he underlined – we have recorded a great wave of reservations on our flights outside Ireland and the United Kingdom and the trend seems to continue even in these days”.
Ryanair expects Britain to ease its lockdown measures soon. Last week, the country announced a 14-day quarantine starting June 8th for all arrivals at the airports but this is not discouraging reservations. Ad O’Leary is confident that Ryanair’s passenger numbers will return to 2019 levels by the summer of 2021.
No opening instead by the other low cost, EasyJet. Just this morning the CEO of the British airline, Johan Lundgren announced that his planes will no longer fly to Italy if the rules of social distancing on planes are maintained. “We will not fly to you if Italy were to extend the distance beyond June 15,” said the manager, stressing that “it would be impossible for companies to operate being able to sell only a third of the seats”.
EasyJet rose 6% on the Stock Exchange, after the announcement of the 30% cut in the workforce to deal with the Covid-19 emergency. The company has announced plans to cut around 4,500 positions out of a total of 15,000, about a third of its workforce, in response to the impact of Coronavirus on the group’s finances and the new context that will lead to the resumption of activities. British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic also recently announced job cuts.