Ryanair’s O’Leary says airline will fly through UK’s ‘rubbish’ quarantine

Rules requiring all US arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect on Monday

Asked whether Ryanair would cancel July and August flights if the quarantine remained in place, group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: ‘No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Asked whether Ryanair would cancel July and August flights if the quarantine remained in place, group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: ‘No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Ryanair will not cancel flights to and from the UK despite the introduction of a 14-day quarantine for international travellers because thousands of Britons are still booking holidays, boss Michael O’Leary said on Monday.

New rules requiring all arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect on Monday in the UK even though Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, easyJet and Aer Lingus-owner IAG have threatened legal action over what they cast as a draconian move that will cripple the British tourism industry.

The quarantine is designed to prevent a second surge of Covid-19 and in England a breach of the rules will be punishable with a £1,000 (€1,123) fine. It will be reviewed every three weeks and “air bridges” are being discussed with some popular European destinations such as Portugal.

Asked whether Ryanair would cancel July and August flights if the quarantine remained in place during those months, group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish.

“Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece from the 1st of July, the 2nd, the 3rd and every day after that.”

Rescue

With planes around the world grounded since late March, airlines had hoped to start flying from July to rescue their summer season.

The three airlines have sent a “pre-action protocol letter”, which can be followed by legal action, to denounce the quarantine plan as “wholly unjustified and disproportionate”.

Mr O’Leary said he expected British tourists to still book holidays in Europe but that European tourists would be put off travelling to Britain, hammering the domestic tourism industry. – Reuters