Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut Air Passenger Duty as an Eat Out to Help Out-esque gesture to help the travel sector survive the winder.
Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, O’Leary revealed Ryanair forward bookings for November and December were currently at around 10% of normal volumes, figures he said were repeated "across most of the European and UK airline industry".
"It’s never been worse," said O’Leary. "We’ve never seen such awful forward bookings."
O’Leary urged the UK government to follow the EU’s lead, with the union hopeful of rolling out a regional travel plan from mid-October. O’Leary said this would open up the regions of dozens of EU countries.
"If we stick to the current UK scheme where the government adds Portugal one week and takes it off the next, nobody can make bookings with confidence," said O’Leary.
"I don’t think anyone can make travel plans with any certainty. What we need is certainty, the Europeans are at least trying to bring some certainty about from about the middle of October.
"We need this done on a regional basis not a national basis so fine, you may not be able to travel to Lisbon because its Covid rates are high, but you can still go to Faro because in the Algarve the rates are low.
"We need something much more sensible like that."