Ryanair Set To Take Ireland To Court Over Quarantine Policy

Ryanair had yesterday launched a high court action against the travel restrictions put in place by the Irish government. The airline has claimed that the limits, at a time when the situation in Europe is improving, are detrimental to its business. Moreover, according to the airline, the ‘restrictions’ are unlawful and interfere with the individual’s rights. One of the primary reasons behind the action seems to be the possible hit on Ryanair’s passenger demand.

Ryanair, Load Factor, Refunds
Ryanair has launched legal action against the Irish Government. Photo: Getty Images

New measures

Irish government on the 21st of July released a set of new measures to avoid another wave of coronavirus spread. According to the measures, the government discouraged its citizens from traveling outside the island of Ireland, except for essential purposes.

Further, it stated that people who are returning to the country from countries, not on the designated green list, will have to self isolate for 14 days. The green list announced on the 22nd of July contained some popular destinations but excluded high-demand markets like Britain, France, and Spain.

The problem and solution

Ryanair has challenged the above measures by referring to the fact that an official rule was unnecessary, and the requirements were understandable to passengers. The airline has claimed that the steps are mandatory in nature and have the same effect as regulations would have.

Moreover, the list of countries on the green list was not provided for legislation, and the parliament was denied the opportunity to scrutinize it when it was put forward through public announcement.

Ryanair has challenged the measures on the very humanitarian and sympathetic grounds. Although airlines don’t usually take this route, it’s understandable that the passenger demand is essential to them.

The airline represented by Martin Hayden SC and Eoin O’Shea Bl, say that the measures are more than just advice from the government regarding travel to and from Ireland. The airline is against the obligations or mandatory regulations that have been introduced under the so-called advisory.

Ryanair on ground
Ireland has taken a more cautious approach to reopen its economy and skies. Photo: Ryanair

IAG, which owns Irish outfit Aer Lingus, has joined as a notice party to the proceedings. The case from the airline’s side has gained further support from similar parties.

Last month, the airline was already involved in another similar legal action. Ryanair, IAG, and EasyJet had challenged the British government to produce mandatory rules for incoming passengers. However, the airlines canceled the action as soon as London scrapped its 14-day quarantine rule for passengers coming from popular tourist destinations.

Back to business

Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair, lost €185 million ($ 217 million) in the three months to the 30th of June as COVID-19 reduced its traffic by 99 %. The airline saw the most challenging period in its 35-year history. In July, the airline gradually resumed business with just 40% of its initial schedule.

Ryanair behind fence taxi
Europe’s largest airline is back after three months of absence. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

In September, the carrier is expected to resume 70% of its planned schedule. The firm has planned various cost-cutting strategies, which will help it get through the weak demand in the coming months.

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