Coronavirus: Ryanair to close Toulouse base for winter
The airline is reducing flights and staff as a result of the Covid-19 health crisis
Low-cost airline Ryanair will close its Toulouse base for winter, the company has announced, along with its bases in Cork and Shannon in Ireland.
Toulouse is the airline’s third largest base in France, after Lille and Brest. It opened in September 2019, with two Boeing 737s providing 13 air connections.
Ryanair has not stated any changes in its plans to open a new base in Beauvais, near Paris, announced in December 2019.
Staff cuts and reduced flights throughout Europe
Since March, Ryanair has furloughed 3,200 staff. Now more jobs are at risk, although the airline has stated it would prefer staff to take unpaid holidays or attempt job shares to help as many as possible retain some income.
This winter, Ryanair is to reduce flights by 40% compared with last year, which should allow it to keep up to 60% of current staff, working reduced hours.
Fewer airplanes will be in service in Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal, as well as in France.
Other airlines also struggling
Low-cost transporters easyJet and WizzAir have also cut capacity this year.
Along with Ryanair, they are demanding extra measures be put in place to encourage passengers to fly, including rapid antigen tests at airports.
Vueling to launch three routes in France
Meanwhile, low-cost operator Vueling plans to launch three internal routes in France departing from Orly airport, near Paris, travelling to Marseille, Brest and Montpellier.
Each route will run two return journeys on Friday and Sunday, with prices starting at €29.
This marks the entrance into a new market for the airline, which until now has run international flights between southern European countries and French cities including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice and Nantes.
Vueling’s entry into the French domestic flight market comes as competitor Transavia (run by Air France) is reorganising its services, taking on internal connections previously run by HOP, also a subsidiary of Air France.
Low-cost airlines easyJet and Volotea, who are already established in the market, have also announced their intentions to relaunch domestic flight routes in France.
Price wars are expected.