On Monday, Ryanair announced plans to return to 40% of normal flight schedules from Wednesday, 1 July 2020. This is, of course, subject to government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted. Effective public health measures must also be in place at airports.
Flights have been restricted since mid-March. Since then, Ryanair has been operating a daily skeleton schedule of 30 flights between Ireland, the UK and Europe. From July, Ryanair will restart flying from most of its 80 bases across Europe. This includes Eindhoven Airport.
According to reports in a local media outlet, this low-cost carrier wants to fly to 34 destinations from Eindhoven. Currently, there are three flights a week between Eindhoven and London Stanstead. Flights to popular holiday destinations in countries like Spain and Italy will be resumed.
Flights starting in late June
For now, Porto will be the first, on Wednesday, 24 June. Flights to Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Edinburgh and Manchester, in the UK, are also to be resumed. Malta, Marseilles (France), and Prague, (the Czech Republic), Bratislava (Slovakia) are only on the flight schedule from August. Flights to Sweden, Romania, Croatia, and Austria have not yet been scheduled.
There will be fewer daily and weekly main route frequencies. Ryanair wants to restore some services on the widest number of routes, rather than operating high frequency services on a small number. According to a press release, Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights. This will restore 90% of its pre-COVID-19 route network.
How well travellers will be received in these countries is another matter. For example, according to a Spanish news outlet, El País, travellers currently going to Spain have to self-quarantine for 14 days. That is as per a new Health Ministry order published on Tuesday in the Spanish State Gazette.
Quarantine could be extended
These quarantine requirements come into effect on Friday, 15 May. They will remain in force until at least Sunday, 24 May. It might be extended if the emergency situation is extended.
Ryanair also released a return to flying video encouraging passengers to observe effective health measures to limit the spread of this novel coronavirus. These include fewer checked bags, checking in online, and downloading your boarding pass to your smartphone. Passengers will also have to undergo temperature checks at airport entries.
Face masks/coverings have to be worn at all times in the terminal and on board the planes. All Ryanair aircraft are fitted with HEPA air filters, similar to those used in ICU hospital wards. And all interior surfaces are disinfected every night.
‘A healthy return to service’
“Temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the cornerstone of this healthy return to service. However, social distancing at airports and on board aircraft will be encouraged where possible,” reads the statement.
The airline’s cabin crew and in-flight services will also be adjusted accordingly. Ryanair will require all passengers flying in July and August to fill in details about their destination when they’re checking in. This contact information will be provided to EU governments. This will help them with any isolation regulations they may need for intra-EU flight passengers.
Ryanair CEO, Eddie Wilson, says, “We will continue to work closely with public health agencies to encourage our people and passengers to adopt practical, effective steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”