Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, said on Monday that it cancelled nearly 1,000 flights alone in November due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
The number of Gaza-related cancellations increased from 870 in October to 960 grounded flights in November, although that still only represented less than 1.5% of the 66,400 flights the Dublin-based carrier throughout November.
International airlines suspended flight operations to Israel in the days following the Hamas terror attack on October 7. Many airlines have announced rolling suspension periods, with most carriers now not intending to return to Tel Aviv until January 2024 at the earliest.
Israeli flag carrier El Al has tried to take up the slack in lost capacity, but the airline said last week that it is currently in ’emergency mode’ and has had to rejig schedules to suit new demands.
Tourists are no longer booking flights to Israel in the months ahead, but El Al says it has seen an increase in last-minute sales, indicating that Israelis and visitors are waiting until the last minute owing to the dynamic nature of the conflict.
The traditionally quieter travel month of November was no such thing for Ryanair, which reported that it carried 11.7 million passengers in the month with an impressive average load factor of 92%.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.