Budget carrier plans to re-start 40% of its schedule from July 1
Budget carrier Ryanair says it will resume 40% of its normal flight schedules from July 1.
The airline, which operates 46 flights from Manchester Airport and 34 from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, will also require crew and passengers to wear face masks and pass temperature checks.
However, it said its plans to re-start flights depend on government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted, and effective public health measures being put in place at airports.
Ryanair intends to 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, it said it will re-start 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.
Restrictions on flights will include fewer checked bags, check in online, downloading boarding passes 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.
Ryanair said all its 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 more than 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.
Queueing for toilets will also be prohibited on board, although toilet access will be made available to individual passengers upon request. Ryanair said it 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 and August 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 chief executive 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 four-month lockdown to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 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 re-start 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 (one 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 six 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.
“We will continue to work closely with public health agencies to encourage our people and passengers to adopt practical and effective steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, in the best interest of our passengers, our people and our communities.”
On May 1, the carrier announced plans to axe 3,000 jobs as a result of its fleet being grounded and travel restrictions in place globally.
On May 5, it reported a 99.6% fall in passenger numbers for April, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant closure of international borders.