Ryanair plans 150 routes from Ireland from July 1

Ryanair plans to operate close to 150 routes from Ireland from July 1 as part of its efforts to restore 40% of its flight schedule by mid-summer.
Ryanair plans 150 routes from Ireland from July 1
File photo
File photo

Ryanair plans to operate close to 150 routes from Ireland from July 1 as part of its efforts to restore 40% of its flight schedule by mid-summer.

Passengers will be subject to strict public health requirements, including face masks and temperature checks, as part of the new plan.

Social distancing will be encouraged "where it is possible", though the airline will continue to sell middle seats, unlike some counterparts in the United States.

Since mid-March, Ryanair has operated a skeleton schedule of 30 flights per day between Ireland, the UK, Ireland and Europe.

It has now mapped out a plan to increase operations, operating nearly 1,000 flights per day from July 1. This would represent 40% of its regular schedule but would restore connectivity to 90% of its network. It includes more than 100 routes from Dublin, more than 20 from Cork and 14 from Shannon.

This is subject to restrictions on flights within the EU being lifted and the introduction of strict public health measures, including:

  • Temperature checks at airport entry 
  • Wearing face masks/coverings at all times in airport terminals and on aircraft 
  • Social distancing at airports and onboard aircrafts "will be encouraged where it is possible"
  • Cabin crew will wear face masks/covering 
  • In-flight snack and drinks service will be limited, no cash sales 
  • No queuing for toilets.

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said "it is time to get Europe flying again".

Mr Wilson also told RTÉ they will be selling the middle seats as proposals to leave these empty "isn't based on any scientific evidence", but stressed they "will be doing everything to do sensible mitigation of risk on board".

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said there will be demand for services, estimating between 50% and 60% of seats would be booked.

He also took aim at proposals to "impose quarantine on people coming" by air. In Britain, passengers from Ireland and France would be exempt from the measure announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday.

Mr O'Leary labelled the policy as "idiotic" and, instead, called for increased airport checks to ensure holidaymakers can start flying once again.

An empty Ryanair check in area at Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
An empty Ryanair check in area at Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "What's ineffective is these kind of idiotic measures like a 14-day quarantine, which is completely non-science-based, when you can exempt the French and you can exempt the Irish.

"It's nonsense and it has no effect in limiting the spread of Covid-19. "The reality is, we're over the peak of the virus. What we now need is to take effective measures, and effective measures certainly in air travel will involve masks and temperature checks.

"They're not going to involve measures that have no public support like lockdown, isolation.

"They're utterly unimplementable anyway because you don't have the police resources to go and check the people."

He said families have a "huge pent-up desire" to "get away to the beaches of Spain and Portugal" where he predicted there would be "no spread of the virus".

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