Coronavirus has forced Spain to lock down its borders as the number of cases in the holiday hotspot continues to rise. At the time of writing, there are 11,309 confirmed cases in Spain – the fourth highest country in the world after China, Italy and Iran. Airlines have cancelled huge swathes of flights to and from Spain.
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Now Ryanair has issued an “important notice” to those currently in Spain and hoping to return.
The budget airline explained that those checked in to return from March 21 to March 28 have been unchecked in by the carrier.
Instead, Ryanair has said customers should apply for a free move on an alternative date.
This is what you need to know about the latest update.
Ryanair said in a statement today: “In response to the decision of the Spanish Government to “lock down” the entire country to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Ryanair Group Airlines (including Buzz and Lauda) has been forced to severely reduce flights to/from Spain, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands from 24:00 Sun 15 Mar until 24:00 Fri 20 Mar.
“Customers that were already checked-in for their return flight may have experienced difficulties to change their booking.
“Today we are unchecking all customers booked on flights exiting Spain from 21 Mar to 28 Mar and advising them to apply for a free move on an alternative date via our online service.
“Ryanair Group apologises for any inconvenience caused by this unprecedented crisis.
“The safety and well-being of our people and customers is our main priority.
“We are working closely with state authorities and we will follow any travel restrictions that are imposed.
“We will continue to comply with all WHO and EASA guidelines to combat the Covid-19 virus.”
The statement comes a day after Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said the carrier was communicating with those travellers impacted by travel changes.
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He said: “At the Ryanair Group Airlines, we are doing everything we can to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has over the last week caused extraordinary and unprecedented travel restrictions to be imposed by National Governments, in many cases with minimal or zero notice.
“We are communicating with all affected passengers by email and SMS, and we are organising rescue flights to repatriate customers, even in those countries where travel bans have been imposed.
He added: “Ryanair is taking all actions necessary to cut operating expenses, and improve cash flows at each of our airlines.
“Ryanair is a resilient airline group, with a very strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced or even zero flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality, which will come about sooner rather than later as EU Governments take unprecedented action to restrict the spread of Covid-19.”
Ryanair also commented on the European lockdown which is currently underway in a statement.
“Ryanair expects the result of these restrictions will be the grounding of the majority of its aircraft fleet across Europe over the next seven to 10 days,” said the Irish carrier.
“In those countries where the fleet is not grounded, social distancing restrictions may make flying to all intents and purposes, impractical, if not, impossible.
“For April and May, Ryanair now expects to reduce its seat capacity by up to 80 percent, and a full grounding of the fleet cannot be ruled out.”
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