Ryanair targets 4.5m passengers as flights take off again

Airline has strict protocols in place to minimise risk of Covid-19

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary says the airline has seen "very strong" bookings for the first two weeks of July across its network, but the prospect of 3,000 job losses still looms if staff fail to agree to pay cuts. Video: Reuters

 

Ryanair expects to carry 4.5 million passengers this month as it begins flying 1,000 flights a day across Europe from Wednesday following more than three months of Covid-19 travel bans.

In line with EU aviation and disease control authorities’ recommendations, the airline is making it mandatory for crew and passengers to wear face masks on its flights, along with providing only cashless inflight sales and asking travellers to bring fewer check-in bags.

Group chief executive Michael O’Leary said that, from Wednesday, Ryanair would operate 1,000 a flights a-day across its European network, around 40 per cent of normal July capacity. The airline expects to carry 4.5 million passengers this month.

He added that the airline welcomed the UK decision to axe its quarantine rules with air bridges to most of Europe.

“We also call on the Irish Government to scrap its equally useless form-filling exercise at airports, which does not deliver any quarantine benefit whatsoever, particularly when there is very little follow-up and no accuracy of the implementation of these forms,” Mr O’Leary said.

Ryanair said it was offering 500,000 seats at €19.99 each to mark the restart of its services.

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