Ryanair hopes to resume 40% of flights in July
Ryanair plans to resume almost 1,000 flights a day starting in July and institute temperature checks, require masks and prohibit queuing for toilets to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus.
The Irish low-cost carrier, which has grounded its fleet since late March, aims to restart with about 40% of its normal flight schedules. Toilets will be made available on request, Ryanair said Tuesday in a statement.
The comeback is dependent on government restrictions being lifted on flights within Europe. While the European Commission is preparing recommendations for removing border controls, there are signs that the reopening will be bumpy.
Within the European Union, each nation sets its own rules on entry. The UK, which just left the bloc but remains a major hub for flights in the region, plans a 14-day quarantine on incoming travelers that executives have decried as tantamount to a ban. In an interview with ITV, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Britons were unlikely to be able to travel abroad this summer.
Spain's tourism industry, a key driver of the economy, was also dealt a potential blow when the government decreed this week that all people arriving from abroad will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, under which they will be confined to "their homes or lodgings." The measure will stay in force until the current state of emergency is lifted – the current timeline is for a stage reopening to be completed next month.
Ryanair gained 2.7% to €9.13 as of 11am in Dublin. The carrier said it would restart flights from most of its bases, and will offer seats starting from €20 euros one-way.
Service will feature fewer checked bags, online check-ins and boarding passes downloadable to smart phones, the airline said.
The UK quarantine casts doubt on a reopening of grounded European airlines that had planned to restart travel in coming months. British Airways owner IAG has said it will have to review its goal to gear back up starting in July.
The International Air Transport Association has called for a coordinated approach to reopening in Europe, while acknowledging the challenges given that different countries have different infection rates.
The EU recommendations, due Wednesday, are part of a "tourism package" of non-binding guidelines and the like covering everything from health measures to travel vouchers. The EU's digital chief, Margrethe Vestager, told lawmakers last week that digital contact tracing apps might "enable at least some traveling during the summer."
Luxembourg has so far not introduced any quarantine plans for travellers but worked with France for any such strategy not to include cross-border workers.
Ryanair services 14 airports in nine EU countries from Luxembourg, including popular holiday destinations in Portugal and Spain.
Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary, meanwhile, has railed against state-aid plans and this week challenged a French bailout of Air France-KLM.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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