Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has said that the carrier will not cancel flights to and from the UK in light of the new 14-day quarantine rules that came into force today.
Speaking to the BBC, O’Leary said insisted flights in July and August would go ahead even if the blanket measures remained in place through the summer.
Asked whether Ryanair would cancel flights, he said: “No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish.”
“Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece from the 1st of July, the 2nd, the 3rd and every day after that”.
He added that Ryanair’s bookings for the summer months were at roughly 50 per cent of what they would usually be in July and August.
Under the rules, which were laid out by home secretary Priti Patel last week, almost everyone entering England from today onwards will be forced to quarantine in one place for 14 days.
The plans have come under attack from airlines, travel firms, and Conservative MPs, who have criticised the blanket nature of the measures and urged the government to set up air bridges to low risk countries as soon as possible.
Ryanair has also, along with British Airways and Easyjet, issued a pre-legal letter to the government over the plans, which it described as “wholly unjustified and disproportionate”.
John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow Airport, last night revealed that 25,000 jobs might be lost at the UK’s biggest airport unless the measures were relaxed or air bridges set up in the next two weeks.
Speaking to City AM’s the City View podcast, he said “cut a third of our operating costs, cut a third of our management, but I’ve held off from cutting front line roles as long as I can,” adding he was “really waiting to see what the government is going to do to reopen borders.”
He said “if we start cutting jobs en masse that has a devastating impact on local communities.” He added: “If I can’t see any prospect of revenue coming in I’ve got to start significantly cutting our people costs, but I want to avoid doing that.”