Ryanair is working with the Irish Government to repatriate Irish citizens stuck in Great Britain following this week’s new travel ban. The airline has so far scheduled two flights, setting passengers back €95 ($115) each.
On the weekend, many countries began restricting travel from the United Kingdom after it became apparent that a new strain of the COVID-19 virus spread much faster in the southeast of England. However, the action has disrupted many Christmas plans, in addition to stranding, many who had been hoping to travel for work or to visit friends and family.
Ryanair to the rescue
Ryanair has had to cancel many flights since the start of the year due to low passenger numbers. However, more recently, flights have been affected by new government travel bans. For example, Ryanair’s scheduled flights from London to Dublin have been canceled until at least December 26th.
The airline does, however, realize that people still need to travel. As a result, the airline is laying on a series of repatriation flights for Irish citizens stuck in Great Britain. Yesterday the airline operated one flight from Stansted to Dublin. Today the Stansted to Dublin flight will be supplemented by a flight from Manchester Airport.
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The rescue flights have been scheduled in co-operation with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. The fares are fixed at €95 for all passengers. While this means the usual €11 ($13) fares are not available, passengers will also not face an extraordinarily high fare due to the last minute nature of the booking. It was unclear at the time of writing whether this fare includes baggage. Simple Flying has contacted Ryanair for clarification.
We are working with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs to operate more rescue flights today for eligible Irish citizens who are stranded in the UK – please see the details here: pic.twitter.com/tEcKTRE5CE
— Ryanair Press Office (@RyanairPress) December 23, 2020
Ryanair has €11 fares available for travel from London Stansted on December 26th, but this flight could be canceled depending on how the situation pans out. This is not the first time that Ryanair has operated repatriation flights since the start of the pandemic. Earlier this year, the airline flew seven hours non-stop to Liberia for a charter repatriation flight.
24 flights to Ireland had a COVID positive passenger
At present, Ireland has banned travel from Great Britain until the new year except for a handful of exceptions, such as citizens and those operating ferries to keep freight moving. According to The Irish Examiner, the country has already seen 24 flights arrive with COVID-19 positive passengers between December 1st and December 18th.
Ireland is not alone in banning travel from the United Kingdom. As of yesterday, 50 countries had banned travel from the UK, ranging from Argentina to Turkey. There was some good news for travelers from the United Kingdom this morning as France, Belgium, and The Netherlands began accepting passengers once more with some limitations.
Additionally, the European Commission last night called for blanket travel bans to be lifted by member states. Instead, it suggested that non-essential travel should be discouraged.
Are you stranded in Great Britain? Will you be using Ryanair’s repatriation flights? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!