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Ryanair expects flights to be grounded from today and warns it could last until May

Ryanair has offered its planes for rescue flights and for the transport of medicine.

Ryanair has said it expects to ground all of its flights.
Ryanair has said it expects to ground all of its flights.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR IS EXPECTING that most of its flights will be grounded from today – a situation the company thinks could last into May. 

In a statement this morning to customers, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that he expected the company’s flights would be grounded from today onwards. 

O’Leary said that the company doesn’t expect to operate any flights in either April or May. 

“At this time, no one knows how long this Covid shutdown will last. The experience in China suggests a 3-month period for the spread of the virus to be contained and reduced,” O’Leary said. 

“While the immediate future is uncertain, it is important to remember that, like all pandemics, this crisis will pass.”

With Europe at the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments across the continent have introduced drastic measures to try to curb the spread, including closing borders.

The company said that it had offered its aircraft to all EU governments for rescue flights and for the transport of medicine, personal protective equipment and food supplies. 

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“We are continuing to work with EU governments on rescue flights to return stranded passengers to their home country,” O’Leary said. 

The company has reduced office staff by 50% because of the crisis “for social distancing reasons”. It advised customers that they would soon receive an email outlining their options. 

The grounding of the airline’s flights had been flagged last week, as the company scaled back flights by over 80%. 

“We will do everything we can to return to to flying, to allow Europe’s citizens to go back to work, to visit friends/family, and to rebuild Europe’s tourism industry,” O’Leary said. 

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