Ryanair has reportedly seen a massive surge in bookings for July since it announced its return to the skies. The bookings come despite Britain’s plans to implement a 14-day quarantine period for those traveling into the country after June 8th.
Ryanair has been incredibly critical of the UK’s plan to implement a two week quarantine period for incoming passengers. The Irish low-cost carrier hasn’t been the only airline to criticize the government’s policy. However, it seems as though the British public hasn’t been deterred by the move, as the airline has seen a surge in new bookings for its resumption.
Future of quarantine
In an interview with Reuters, Mr. O’Leary states that he believes that both Ireland and the United Kingdom will either drop its quarantine plan or introduce an alternate program in the next couple of weeks. This would be essential for British airlines to relaunch services effectively.
Currently, Ryanair is operating around 20 routes. Some are running several times a week, with some operating daily. Simple Flying recently reviewed a flight with the airline during the current pandemic. It was about 40% full, and apart from no services being offered onboard and mandatory masks, it was similar to a typical Ryanair flight.
The Irish low-cost airline is hoping to operate around 1,000 flights per day from July 1st. A large number of trips would run from the airline’s biggest hub in London Stansted, and its home in Dublin.
However, the airline would likely find operating these flights to be pointless if the British government’s proposed 14-day quarantine period is indeed implemented. Ryanair’s target market is unlikely to wish to travel if they will need to remain at home for 14-days upon their return. Most business travelers would also choose an online meeting in place of being quarantined.
Not all bad news
It seems as though O’Leary’s passengers are also expecting the UK to relax its proposed quarantine measures. O’Leary told Reuters,
“We have seen a big surge in bookings on our flights out of Ireland and the UK to Spain, Portugal and Italy over the weekend, and that seems to be continuing this week.”
Indeed, the Irish low-cost carrier’s CEO has said that based on bookings in the last week, flights in July are likely to be 50-60% full. This would theoretically allow Ryanair to block middle seats for social distancing. However, O’Leary previously shunned social distancing.
Instead, the Irish airline’s passengers will be required to wear facemasks for the duration of flights. Simple Flying today reported that Polish carrier LOT is blocking half of its seats upon its return to service planned for June.
Many airlines are expecting a three year wait for passengers to return to pre-pandemic levels. However, Ryanair’s CEO is far more optimistic. He believes that passenger demand will return to normal levels by next summer. Despite this, crew layoffs are still on the table.
When would you feel comfortable flying with Ryanair once more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!