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Ryanair flights are among those impacted by the Covid pandemic, but airline boss Michael O’Leary remains positive. He told a press conference today that he’s hopeful for a “significant easing of travel restrictions.” He said there was “little chance” the summer holiday period would be a “write-off” with plenty of pent-up demand for travel.
“During the summer of 2021, we hope, but expect to operate more than 2,000 weekly flights across over 400 routes, carrying many UK families to and from their holiday destinations in Spain, Italy and Greece,” said O’Leary.
His optimism is supported by the success of the Covid vaccine rollout in the UK.
He explained that the UK Governments hopes 80 percent of the adult UK population will be vaccinated by the end of June.
“I think it is very difficult to persuade the UK population to sit at home, or holiday at home when everybody’s been vaccinated,” he said
O’Leary hopes Europe will soon follow in Britain’s footsteps with that the continent will be “awash with vaccines.”
“I think the European Union will largely have caught up with the UK vaccination programme by the time we get to the end of June,” he detailed.
“We expect there to be a significant easing of travel restrictions, in fact doing away with travel restrictions, on travel between the UK and continental European destinations.”
O’Leary pointed out that Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal “have announced that they’ll be welcoming vaccinated UK visitors from May 17 onwards.”
It’s from this date that it’s hoped international travel will resume – but the Government will only confirm this on April 5.
O’Leary remains positive, though: “I believe UK holidays are on track for a strong summer 21,” he said.
Ryanair has waived their flight change fee in a bid to give holidaymakers more confidence when it comes to booking.
O’Leary explained Ryanair will serve 23 airports, operating almost 500 routes from UK airports.
There will be 26 new routes this summer across Europe.
What’s more, the airline is resuming flights from Belfast after a hiatus of 11 years.
Ryanair is making “it easier to travel this summer,” with new technology.
“We think there may be new countries that may require proof of vaccination certificates or proof of negative PCR tests, and we’ve created a page on our mobile app where you already have your boarding pass,” said the airline boss.
“You can now upload to the app, either your vaccination certificate, which will confirm that you’ve been vaccinated or your negative PCR before you’re travelling again, making it easier for UK families to visit this summer.”
There is also a seat sale on with customers able to grab seats from £19.99.
“Ryanair, we believe, is poised to drive UK holiday travel with our exciting news,” said O’Leary.
However, the airline boss predicted that red list countries will be here to stay for some time.
He thinks restrictions will more likely impact long haul routes and “travel from Souther Hemisphere countries where the vaccination is running significantly behind” Europe.
Ryanair’s new routes for summer 2021
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