Ryanair passenger numbers sink by 99.6% in April

Ryanair passenger numbers sink by 99.6% in April”

Low-priced airline Ryanair ran just 600 scheduled flights last month as coronavirus lockdown closed airspace across Europe and warned it will continue to carry "minimal" passengers throughout May and June.

The latest monthly traffic statistics from budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) continue to demonstrate just how much the aviation industry has been impacted from the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair on Tuesday said that it handled only about 40,000 passengers in April 2020, down 99.6 percent from the 13.5 million passengers it handled in the same month past year.

Ryanair said it flew 40,000 passengers in April compared to the 13.5 million it carried in the same month in 2019.

It added that the launch of its new low cost airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is 'progressing in line with the initial timeline'.

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Wizz, based in Budapest, Hungary, became one of the first European airlines to restart commercial routes from London Luton and Vienna on May 1, carrying people from Bulgaria and Romania among other places, which the airline said was for work, not leisure travel.

Earlier last Friday, the Irish national radio and television broadcaster quoted Ryanair as saying that the airline's passenger demand won't return to normal within two years.

The company said it could close a number of aircraft bases across Europe until traffic recovers. Passenger numbers at Ryanair slid 99.6% to 40,000 from 13m in the same month a year ago, while traffic at Lauda was down to zero from 0.5m. The budget carrier also said it was also planning to put employees on unpaid leave and cut pay by up to 20%.

It said that while some return to flight services is expected in the months from July to September, it expects to carry no more than 50% of its original traffic target of 44.6 million in its fiscal second quarter, which is usually its busiest season.

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