Ryanair will begin operation 40 per cent of its scheduled flights from 1 July as Europe’s largest low-cost carrier seeks to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.
Subject to travel restrictions, the budget airline will run nearly 1,000 flights a day across 90 per cent of its pre-coronavirus route network.
In order to facilitate the return to service, Ryanair will implement stringent health measures such as in-airport temperature checks and the wearing of face masks.
Since coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March, the Irish carrier has been running just 30 flights a day, but chief executive Eddie Wilson said July was the “most practical date to resume normal flight schedules”:
“After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and restart Europe’s tourism industry, which provides so many millions of jobs”.
The decision comes despite the UK government’s decision to implement a 14-day quarantine period on incoming passengers to the UK from later this month.
The measures, which were announced yesterday, met with a severe backlash from the aviation industry, which said it would make an already “critical” situation “much worse”.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said that the initiatives were “idiotic” and “unenforceable”.
“It’s unimplementable and unenforceable anyway, so I think people will largely ignore it, which is not good”, he added.
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways owner IAG, said the decision would mean BA would have to review its plans to restore service levels to 50 per cent from July.
Under its plans to restart operations, Ryanair said that all cabin crew would wear face masks and cash sales would be banned onboard flights.
Passengers will be urged to check in online and download their boarding passes, use hand sanitiser throughout airports, and wearing facial protection at all times in terminals and on aircraft.
Travellers will also have to ask to use the toilet aboard aircraft, with queuing for the facilities to be banned.
More to follow.