Published on May 17th, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer0
Ryanair to restore 40% Schedule from July 1st
Ryanair announced this week that it plans to return to 40% of normal flight schedules from Wednesday 1st July, subject to Government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted, and effective public health measures being put in place at airports. Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, restoring 90% of its pre-Covid-19 route network although with a lower frequency on most routes.
Since the Covid-19 flight restrictions in mid-March, Ryanair has been operating a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights between Ireland, the UK and Europe. From July, Ryanair will restart flying from most of its 80 bases across Europe.
Ryanair also released a return to flying video, (see below) encouraging passengers to observe effective health measures to limit the Covid-19 virus. These include fewer checked bags, checking in online, downloading boarding passes to the passengers’ smart phone, as well as undergoing temperature checks at airport entry and wearing face masks/coverings at all times in the terminal and on board the aircraft. While temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the cornerstone of this healthy return to service, social distancing at airports and onboard aircraft will be encouraged where possible.
As a temporary further public health measure, while EU States emerge from their respective Covid-19 lockdowns, Ryanair will require all passengers flying in July & August to fill in details (at the point of check in) of how long their planned visit will be, and also their address while visiting another EU country, and this contact information will be provided to EU Governments to help them to monitor any isolation regulations they require of visitors on intra-EU flights.
Chief Executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said the industry “would love” to see international travel starting up again shortly but the 14-day quarantine periods that the Irish and British governments and other European countries have imposed on international travellers could at this stage be an insurmountable problem.
Ryanair Group to go to an all-Boeing Fleet
In an interview with Reuters, Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said that subsidiary Lauda plans to move towards an all-Boeing fleet by cancelling leases for Airbus A320s and likely replacing 30 aircraft with Boeing 737s. On Tuesday, O’Leary said he currently viewed talking with Airbus as a waste of his time. “We would not initiate talks with Airbus until such time as Airbus wants to initiate talks with us,” he said in an interview. Until they need an order from the Ryanair Group, frankly we are wasting our time talking to Airbus,” he added, without elaborating.
Ryanair is currently in talks with Boeing about compensation for delays in the delivery of 210 B737 MAX jets and on a possible new aircraft order. If these go to plan, then Ryanair will probably replace Lauda’s 30 A320’s with Boeing, he added. “As long as we can reach an acceptable outcome with Boeing, the Boeing orders we have in place would readily replace – I think Lauda will have a fleet of about 30 Airbus aircraft – we would probably replace those Airbus with Boeing over the next couple of years.”
This week Ryanair also filed a lawsuit at the EU’s General Court seeking to topple the EU’s approval for a program delaying aviation tax payments for companies with a French license. The company has said the program is unfair government support for favoured national carriers amid the Covid-19 crisis. France will allow French airlines to defer some €200m in aviation tax payments due from March and December this year, according to the European Commission. They won’t need to pay it until the end of 2022 and France estimates it could cost the airlines some €29.9m to obtain the same funding on the market.