Europe’s largest low-budget carrier intends to operate nearly 1,000 flights a day from July 1 and restore 90% of its pre-pandemic route network. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Ryanair operated 2,400 flights a day. It will resume flying from most of its 80 bases across the continent.
Ryanair has released a return-to-flight video advising passengers to check their temperature before traveling to the airport, to check in online and to download their boarding pass to their smartphones. Travelers will undergo further temperature tests at the airport, must wear face masks or other coverings and wash their hands and use a hand sanitizer at the terminals.
On board the plane, they will be able to buy snacks and prepackaged drinks, using only cashless payments. Toilet queuing will be prohibited on board, although individual passengers may use the facilities “on request”. Physical distance to airports and on board will be encouraged as much as possible.
The measures include less checked baggage and thorough cleaning of the aircraft each night with chemicals that are effective for more than 24 hours. All Ryanair planes are equipped with Hepa air filters similar to those used in critical hospital services, according to the airline.
Since the Covid-19 flight restrictions were imposed in mid-March, Ryanair has operated a daily skeletal schedule of 30 flights between Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. The pandemic has forced airlines around the world to anchor their fleets.
As a temporary public health measure, as EU countries exit their Covid-19 lock, Ryanair will require that all passengers traveling in July and August fill in the details when registering the length of their planned visit and their address when visiting another EU country. This contact information will be provided to EU governments to help them monitor isolation regulations.
Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said: “It is important to our customers and employees that we return to certain normal hours starting July 1st. Governments across Europe have put in place a four-month lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After four months, it’s time to fly Europe again so that we can reunite friends and families, allow people to go back to work and restart the tourism industry in Europe, which provides so many millions of jobs. “
Other airlines, including Wizz Air and KLM, have also announced a return to flights. British Airways owner IAG had planned to operate 1,000 flights a day from July, but its chief executive, Willie Walsh, said Monday that it would reconsider its plans in light of the British government’s plan to implement quarantine people arriving by plane. He said the number of thefts would likely be “fairly minimal”.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has eliminated the 14-day quarantine, which will exempt French and Irish travelers. He said the exemption showed that the quarantine period was not based on scientific evidence, that the passengers would ignore it and that the British government did not have the police resources to verify the people.
He told ITV Good Morning Britain: “I don’t think this 14-day isolation will be effective. It will have no credibility with the traveling public, but it is manageable. “