Published on : Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airlines has announced it expects to operate no further commercial flights between 24 March and June 2020. The airlines said that its fleet is likely to be grounded for the entirety of April and May following the unprecedented restrictions placed on travel and tourism in the middle of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The flight bans across Europe have now closed the continent’s skies to all but a handful of rescue flights, and Ryanair has stated that, based on the length of China’s lockdown, most travel is likely to be suspended for three months.
Michael O’Leary, CEO, said that they do not expect to operate flights during the months of April and May at this time, but this will clearly depend upon Government advice, and they will in all cases comply with these instructions.
However, the low-cost carrier said it would be offering its aircraft for repatriation flights and to move emergency food supplies, vital medicine and personal protective equipment around Europe where needed.
Mr O’Leary said that as Europe’s borders become congested or closed, it’s vital Ryanair plays its part to keep vital medicines and food supplies moving. They are continuing to work with European Union governments on rescue flights to return stranded passengers to their home country. In all cases, these flights take place under maximum safety, with daily disinfecting of aircraft, and no trolley service to minimise social contact.
The passengers whose Ryanair flights have been cancelled due to new travel restrictions will receive an email outlining their options over the next two weeks.
The airline has requested that customers be patient and refrain from calling, as it has reduced office staff by 50 per cent to comply with social distancing rules. There are fewer staff means they will be unable to accommodate anything but the most urgent of cases, which over the coming days will be rescue flights, according to the statement.