Coronavirus: Ryanair plots July return with passengers and crew required to wear face masks

Ryanair plans to restore 40% of its flight schedule from July, with all crew and passengers required to wear face masks and pass temperature checks.

The budget airline said it hopes to have nearly 1,000 flights per day, with 90% of its normal network on offer.

This would be dependent on governments lifting restrictions on flights within the European Union, restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Ryanair said that “effective public health measures” such as temperature checks would also be needed at airports to ensure it is safe for passengers and crew to travel while COVID-19 remains a threat.

Other measures would include fewer checked bags, online check-in, downloading boarding passes to smartphones and social distancing where possible, the airline added.

A limited inflight service will be offered – pre-packaged snacks and drinks and payment to be cashless only. There will be no queues allowed for toilets, although passengers will be able to request to use the toilet.

During July and August, passengers will also have to give details of their trip at check-in, including the duration of their visit and their address at their destination. This information will be given to EU governments to help them monitor any isolation regulations.

Ryanair’s chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work and restart Europe’s tourism industry, which provides so many millions of jobs.

“Ryanair will work closely with public health authorities to ensure that these flights comply, where possible, with effective measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. As already shown in Asia, temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the most effective way to achieve this on short haul (one hour) within Europe’s single market.”

Mr Wilson added that it was hoped the flights would also “allow those tourism based economies such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and others, to recover what is left of this year’s tourism season”.

It comes less than two weeks after Ryanair announced it was planning to axe 3,000 jobs because of the collapse in air travel caused by the coronavirus crisis.

At the time, the airline said pilots and cabin crew would be most affected and remaining staff faced unpaid leave and having their pay slashed by up to 20%.

In April, British Airways said it expected to cut a quarter of its pilots as part of wider plans to axe 12,000 jobs due to the pandemic.

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