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Ryanair CEO slams UK quarantine as ‘nonsense’

written by Sandy Milne | May 13, 2020

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, pictured at Barcelona Airport (BCN) (Source: Australian Aviation archives)

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has suggested that he hopes to see as many as two in five Ryanair flights operational by June, and that number increase to 70 per cent by September.

This would mean, in a matter of weeks, the airline would be operating as many as 1,000 flights per day, covering more than 100 routes to and from Ireland.

At a Financial Times conference held on Tuesday, the Irish executive said that the plan is contingent on the easing of state-imposed quarantine measures, deriding the UK’s planned self-isolation requirements as “nonsense”.

Ryanair has warned that many of its customers will choose to flout any self-isolation requirements

Speaking to BBC reporters that same day, O’Leary said that “it’s unimplementable and unenforceable anyway, so I think people will largely ignore it, which is not good,” adding that any measures introduced by the Johnson government would “disappear pretty quickly”.

In terms of the planned return to service, O’Leary also stated that it would depend on putting strict biosecurity measures in place throughout the aviation sector.

“By the time we get to 1 July, we think masks and temperature checks will become the norm in train stations, on board trains and undergrounds, on buses, in public transport across Europe,” said O’Leary. “It would be a reasonably modest extension to add those to airport terminals and on-board aircraft.”


In previous weeks, O’Leary has said that enforced blocking of the middle seat, a policy that has been embraced by major airlines in North America and Europe, is “idiotic”.

Ryanair also announced on Tuesday plans to cancel orders from Airbus for Austrian low-cost subsidiary Lauda. “We have aircraft that are due to be delivered over the next 12 months and we will cancel almost all of those deliveries, which are from leasing companies,” O’Leary told Reuters.

“I think Lauda will have a fleet of about 30 Airbus aircraft – we would probably replace those Airbus with Boeing over the next couple of years,” he said.


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