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Coronavirus: Ryanair to ground 90% of its fleet

The airline will operate 13 daily or weekly routes from Dublin.

LAST UPDATE | 25 Mar 2020

RYANAIR HAS ANNOUNCED that it will ground 90% of its flights until 2 April as it operates a limited Irish schedule while the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The company also said it is working to provide repatriation and rescue flights for a number of EU governments and has offered its aircraft for emergency medical flights, including to and from China.

In a statement this afternoon, the airline said it would only operate daily or weekly flights between Dublin and the UK to London Stanstead, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, as well as Cork to London Stanstead.

The company also said it would only operate daily or weekly flights from Dublin to Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon and Cologne.

“As most EU countries have imposed flight bans or other restrictions, over 90% of Ryanair’s aircraft will be grounded for the coming weeks,” a statement from Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said.

“We will comply with these restrictions at all times. We are all working with EU governments to try to keep some minimum flight links open for emergency reasons, even though the passenger loads on these flights will be very low.”

Ryanair added that aircraft on the routes it would operate would be disinfected daily, and said social distancing would be optimised on-board.

The company apologised for the disruptions that grounding its aircraft may cause, but said doing so was necessary to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on EU citizens and health services.

Elsewhere, the operators of both London City Airport and Paris Orly Airport announced that the hubs are temporarily shutting down.

Paris airports operator ADP said that traffic at the main domestic airport was down 92% yesterday.

London City Airport, which is located close to the British capital’s financial district, said all flights have been suspended until the end of April starting this evening.

“At this point in this fast-moving and unprecedented situation, we think this is the responsible thing to do,” it said.

With reporting by AFP

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