British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair Take UK Quarantine To Court

Three major airlines with operations in the UK have begun legal proceedings against the UK’s blanket quarantine restrictions. Ryanair, easyJet, and British Airways today sought an urgent review of the strict plan at the High Court.

easyJet coronavirus grounding
Three UK airlines have joined forces to seek a judicial review into the UK’s 14-day quarantine period. Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, the United Kingdom’s government implemented a draconian 2-week quarantine affecting almost any individual entering the country. There were a few exceptions, such as nuclear incident first responders. However, every single country of origin is affected by the procedures. In theory, you could fly from a country that has eradicated the virus, and it would make no difference. This is despite the United Kingdom having one of the worst rates of infection in Europe.

We’re very used to British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair being sworn rivals. Indeed, in March at the Airlines for Europe annual meeting in Brussels, O’Leary made light of the fact that all three airlines’ CEOs were on the stage at once. At the time, the CEOs were fighting for environmental policy reform alongside other member airlines.

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However, the three airlines have been brought together once more. In a joint statement sent to Simple Flying, the airlines said that they were seeking an urgent judicial review into the UK’s policy. The group highlighted that under UK criminal law, the measures affecting those entering the country were more stringent than for those who actually have COVID-19.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Flight Hours
Willie Walsh said the quarantine would torpedo the recovery of UK aviation. Photo: Getty Images

The group commented,

“British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have launched their legal action against the UK government’s flawed quarantine which will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.

They went on to add: “[the airlines] want the government to re-adopt its previous quarantine policy introduced on March 10, where quarantine is limited to passengers from “high risk” countries.”

Why the quarantine must be stopped

The United Kingdom’s ridiculous quarantine rules will end up backfiring on the country’s aviation industry. Across Europe, airlines are beginning to recover services as demand returns, and restrictions are relaxed seemingly across Europe.

Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, Coronavirus
From the start, Ryanair has been against the quarantine. Photo: Getty Images

However, while things are starting to recover in Europe, UK carriers are still being unfairly disadvantaged by a draconian government scheme. While the United Kingdom’s arbitrary policy remains in place, travel simply can not recover.

If there is a requirement to stay in for 14 days following entry to the UK, business travelers won’t come to a meeting that could be held on skype. That leaves leisure travelers. These individuals likely won’t want to go on holiday, as again, it means 14 days stuck inside.

As such, only those with an essential need to travel are left. These individuals are few and maybe going to funerals, for example. This equates to virtually the same amount of traffic that Ryanair and British Airways have currently been serving with incredibly limited service and easyJet had stopped serving altogether.

Should a court rule against the UK’s quarantine policy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!