Get ready for the holidays from mid-June, the Ryanair boss said.
At present, it is illegal for anyone from the UK to travel abroad except for a limited number of reasons – which do not include holidays or visiting family or friends.
On Easter Monday, April 5, the government will specify the conditions under which international travel can be allowed – but the indications are that ministers will be cautious.
Non-essential visits abroad will only be permitted on May 17 at the earliest.
But Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “The time has come for optimism. We are very confident that by mid-June, July, August. families will travel to and from the UK, to and from Europe. ”
He said The independent : “We try to run the business with the best information available at the moment.
“By June, 80% of the British population will be vaccinated. I think it is then very difficult to persuade the British people to stay at home and spend their holidays at home at this point.
“The European Union will have largely caught up with the UK, with a huge increase in vaccinations and a huge drop in serious illnesses and hospitalizations across Europe.
“With Europe catching up with the UK, I see very little risk that there will not be reasonable freedom of movement.”
Mr O’Leary said seats would not be left empty on Ryanair planes: “Social distancing is not possible at an airport or when boarding a plane.
“But we also don’t believe that social distancing will be necessary from mid-2021. We will always need to wear a mask. ”
By mid-June, he hopes Europe’s largest low-cost airline will operate 2,300 flights per week.
Ryanair’s CEO said the airline will fly 80% of its summer schedule from July. He said there is “a huge pent-up demand for air travel” and anyone who has been vaccinated should not be subject to travel restrictions.
Yet a disappointed passenger, Jim Roache, tweeted: “It’s strange to read that Ryanair expects summer holidays to resume in mid-June when they canceled our flights to Cyprus in early February for June 20. Their reasoning was “last minute government news”. ”
Mr O’Leary said travel restrictions had devastated aviation. “Air transport has been one of the industries most devastated by Covid. We have seen 95% of our business disappear, ”he said.
“Governments across Europe and the UK are borrowing extraordinary amounts to keep people in active life support systems.
He accused the German national airline, Lufthansa, of “circling Europe like a drunken uncle at a German wedding seeking state subsidies.”
Earlier this month, Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, said: “The past year has been the most difficult in the history of our company.
“With a smaller, more agile and more sustainable Lufthansa group, we want to maintain our leading position in the world.”
The aircraft type was involved in fatal crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 that killed a total of 346 passengers and crew.
The Boeing 737 Max have been grounded around the world for 20 months and entered service in December 2020.
Mr O’Leary said the airline would take on eight of the planes in April and eight more in May.
“People are going to love these planes, and our accountants love them too – we can reduce our fuel consumption by 16%,” he said.
“We don’t see any concerns. But if there are one or two passengers who hesitate, they can travel on the next available one. [non-Max] vol. »
He also said Brexit would have a serious impact on the UK economy and said: “Brexiteers are already backtracking all their statements, none of which was true.”