Ryanair and Wizz Air report huge slump in passengers with dismal winter ahead

Low-cost airlines are facing a gloomy winter whose end of the Covid crisis is not in sight.

Wizz Air and Ryanair, both of which operate out of Birmingham Airport, reported alarming passenger declines in January as the UK government continues to impose travel restrictions on UK flights.

The Hungarian-based airline Wizz Air, which was flying between Birmingham Airport and the Romanian capital Bucharest until the ban, recorded an 81 percent drop in passengers in January compared with more than 3.1 million in the same month of 2020.

The capacity was reduced by 73 percent to 940,410 seats.

Meanwhile, Ryanair, which has a hub at Birmingham Airport, only flew 1.3 million passengers in January, compared to 10.8 million in the same month in 2020 – an 88 percent decrease and only 15 percent of its normal capacity.

Ryanair expects traffic to drop by 95 percent in February and March, with few or no flights from the UK.

It is expected to only carry 500,000 passengers in February and March when it would normally fly around 10 million a month.

Flight schedules were cut from January 21st, with only a limited number of routes in service, including Birmingham to Dublin.

The budget airline said it would not resume normal service until “the draconian travel restrictions are lifted”.

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