Ryanair will be cutting the number of flights it operates from Cornwall Airport Newquay as a result of a decision to reduce its operations across Europe.

The budget airline is to axe one in three routes this winter due to low demand caused by coronavirus travel restrictions.

Cornwall Airport Newquay, which is owned by Cornwall Council, said today that Ryanair will be reducing its flights to Alicante from twice weekly to just once weekly as part of the changes.

The Alicante route is the only one which the airline operates from Newquay through the winter – its route to Faro will finish at the end of the month as scheduled.

Ryanair has said that it will only maintain up to 65 per cent of its routes between November and March and is also closing bases in Ireland and France for the five-month period.

Ryanair said its winter capacity will be just 40 per cent of what it was 12 months earlier, compared with the 60 per cent it previously planned.

It described demand for flights as “heavily curtailed” to and from the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and much of central Europe.

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Group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts, they have been forced upon us by government mismanagement of EU air travel.

“Our focus continues to be on maintaining as large a schedule as we can sensibly operate to keep our aircraft, our pilots and our cabin crew current and employed while minimising job losses.

“It is inevitable, given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing more unpaid leave, and job-sharing this winter in those bases where we have agreed reduced working time and pay, but this is a better short-term outcome than mass job losses.

“There will regrettably be more redundancies at those small number of cabin crew bases where we have still not secured agreement on working time and pay cuts, which is the only alternative.

“We continue to actively manage our cost base to be prepared for the inevitable rebound and recovery of short-haul air travel in Europe once an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed.”