May 5, 2020 / 6:22 AM / 2 months ago

Ryanair passengers down by 99.6% in April, Wizz Air down by 97.6%

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dublin, Ireland, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest budget airline Ryanair posted a 99.6% fall in passenger numbers in April, while smaller low cost carrier Wizz Air said numbers plunged 97.6%, as the novel coronavirus halted most flying across Europe.

Ryanair said it flew 40,000 passengers in April compared to the 13.5 million it carried in the same month in 2019. It said it expected numbers to stay minimal during May and June due to ongoing travel restrictions.

Wizz Air said that it carried 78,389 passengers in April, down from 3.3 million in the comparative 2019 period, but its figures will improve this month as it became one of the first European airlines to restart commercial routes from London Luton and Vienna on May 1.

The company also said a new airline it is planning to launch with flights between Abu Dhabi in the Middle East and eastern Europe is progressing in line with its initial timeline to start flying this year.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton and James Davey

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