Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline has announced plans to return to 40% of normal flight schedules from Wed 1 July 2020, subject to Government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted, and effective public health measures being put in place at airports.
Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, restoring 90% of its pre-Covid-19 route network.
Since the Covid-19 flight restrictions in mid-March, Ryanair has been operating a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights between Ireland, the UK and Europe.
From July, Ryanair will restart flying from most of its 80 bases across Europe. There will be fewer daily/weekly frequencies on trunk routes, as Ryanair works to restore some services on the widest number of routes, rather than operating high frequency services on a small number.
Ryanair also released a return to flying video, encouraging passengers to observe effective health measures to limit the Covid-19 virus. These include fewer checked bags, check in online, downloading boarding pass to the passenger smart phone, as well as undergoing temperature checks at airport entry and wearing face masks/coverings at all times in the terminal and on board aircraft.
All Ryanair aircraft are fitted with HEPA air filters (similar to those used in critical hospital wards) and all aircraft interior surfaces are disinfected every night with chemicals, which are effective for over 24 hours. While temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the cornerstone of this healthy return to service, social distancing at airports and onboard aircraft will be encouraged where it is possible.
On board its aircraft, Ryanair cabin crew will wear face masks/coverings and a limited inflight service will be offered of pre-packaged snacks and drinks, but no cash sales. All onboard transactions will be cashless. Queuing for toilets will also be prohibited on board although toilet access will be made available to individual passengers upon request. Ryanair encourages passengers to regularly hand wash and use hand sanitizers in airport terminals.
As a temporary further public health measure, while EU States emerge from their respective Covid-19 lockdowns, Ryanair will require all passengers flying in July & Aug to fill in details (at the point of check in) of how long their planned visit will be, and also their address while visiting another EU country, and this contact information will be provided to EU Governments to help them to monitor any isolation regulations they require of visitors on intra-EU flights.
Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said: “It is important for our customers and our people that we return to some normal schedules from 1 July onwards. Governments around Europe have implemented a 4 month lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After 4 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.”
“Ryanair will work closely with public health authorities to ensure that these flights comply, where possible, with effective measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. As already shown in Asia, temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the most effective way to achieve this on short haul (1 hour) within Europe’s single market,” he added.
“Now that Europe’s States are allowing some gradual return to normal life, we expect this will evolve over the coming weeks and months. With more than 6 weeks to go to 1st July, Ryanair believes this is the most practical date to resume normal flight schedules, so that we can allow friends and families to reunite, commuters to go back to work, and allow those tourism based economies such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and others, to recover what is left of this year’s tourism season,” Eddie Wilson stated.