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'People won't lose their heads because they're going on holidays': Ryanair defends ramping up summer flights

Ryanair will now operate more than 1,000 flights per day.

Ryanair have released a video of its new safety precautions.
Ryanair have released a video of its new safety precautions.
Image: Twitter

Updated Wed 8:46 AM

RYANAIR’S CEO HAS said that people are “not going to lose their heads” while on holiday, as the airline ramps up its summer flight schedule from today.

More than 1,000 flights per day will be operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is restoring almost 90% of its route network but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40% of its normal July capacity.

Face-coverings must be worn at all times by passengers and the airline has also introduced a range of Covid-19 safety measures

Ryanair says that no in-flight magazines are being handed out and no hot drinks will be served. 

Queing for the toilet is also not being permitted on Ryanair flights, with customers being asked to press the call bell if they need to use the toilet and wait to be directed to an empty toilet by a member of the cabin crew.  

Ryanair is also asking people not to queue to disembark the aircraft when it lands. 

Speaking this morning, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said the country “needs to get back to some level of normality”. 

“We are returning to the skies, not just for tourism but for jobs and business and people visiting friends and relatives. People are going to be responsible with this, regardless of where they go,” Wilson tol RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

And you look within Europe, the infection rates are much lower in other parts of Europe, and the idea that tourists who would normally come here are going to act in some irresponsible way is simply not the case. 

“It doesn’t just come from abroad. Where people are gathered, you are going to have a risk, and people are going to have to take sensible measures whether that’s in Ireland or whether they travel to and from Ireland,” he added. 

People will not lose their heads just because they’re going on holidays, they will continue to carry out  those sensible measures. So this idea that Covid-19 just comes from abroad, like it’s nonsense.

The Irish government is still advising against people taking non-essential flights out of the country and chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan has urged people to cancel holiday plans if they have them.

Asked if people who cancel their flight booking in accordance with public health advice would get a refund from Ryanair, Wilson said they would not.

“You don’t have any degree of coordination on advice coming from government,” he added.

In recent months, Ryanair Group’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has been prominent in encouraging people to consider flying abroad again. TheJournal.ie previously debunked a number of claims made by O’Leary about quarantining and air travel guidelines.

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Tweeting after this morning’s interview, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris criticised some of the assertions made by Wilson. 

Aer Lingus has also been advertising flights to “Europe’s best sunspots” this month and has a seat sale in which it says people can fly to parts of Spain or Portugal for €39.99.

The airline is also introducing similar Covid-19 safety precautions to Ryanair, with face coverings also mandatory for passengers and crew.

In a safety video released by Aer Lingus, the airline does not make specific reference to toilets but says there will be “reduced passenger movement in the cabin”.

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Rónán Duffy

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