Ryanair has decided to cancel all of its flights between Ireland and the UK until 1pm on Friday, April 23.
The move is being made in order to use these UK and Irish-based aircraft to operate extra flights from the UK to Continental Europe; and from Ireland to Continental Europe from 1pm on Thursday, April 22, to clear any backlog of disrupted passengers travelling between Continental Europe, the UK and Ireland.
The budget airline has also extended its cancellation of its Northern European flights (UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Poland, Baltic States and North Italy) from 1pm tomorrow to 1pm on Thursday, April 22.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: "Our latest analysis of meteorological forecasts and the volcanic ash clouds suggests that the situation across Northern Europe remains unchanged. Ryanair continues to operate scheduled flights in Spain, Southern Italy, Malta and Morocco, and this will continue during Wednesday and Thursday.
"We are also going to operate a number of extra flights between Madrid and the four Canary Islands (Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife) on Wednesday and Thursday to allow disrupted passengers the choice to return to Mainland Europe from the Canary Islands where they may continue their return journeys at their own discretion and expense.
"We have decided to cancel our scheduled operations between Ireland and the UK until 1pm on Friday, since most passengers travelling between Ireland and the UK can switch to coach and ferry alternatives, and this will allow us to reallocate these aircraft to operate extra flights between the UK and Continental Europe, and between Ireland and Continental Europe from 1pm on Thursday until 1pm on Friday, to try to clear any backlog of disrupted passengers between the UK and Europe and between Ireland and Europe.
"We presently hope to resume our full scheduled flight operations (subject only to ATC restrictions and weather forecasts) by 1pm on Friday, 23rd April, and we have issued instructions to all of our airports that our immediate priority will be to ensure that no seat operates empty, while there are backlogs of disrupted passengers wishing to travel.
"Accordingly Ryanair will be operating extra flights on those routes where we believe there are significant numbers of disrupted passengers.
"Ryanair will also be suspending all airport check-in and baggage fees during the initial days so that our handling agents can prioritise getting flights out on time and processing standby passenger lists. Similarly, while we will consider all passenger requests for reimbursement of reasonable receipted expenses over the past week, any such reimbursement will be limited to the original air fare paid by each passenger."