Passengers are being asked to wear face masks on Ryanair flights, potentially until 2022, the airline’s chief said when he announced the return to a more normal summer flight schedule.
The low-cost airline plans to operate around 2,300 weekly flights this summer, said Michael O’Leary.
The schedule will mean Ryanair is around 80% of its usual capacity and the British are keen to return to European beaches, according to the CEO.
However, beach goers need to remember to pack their face masks next to their swimwear.
“I would envision at this point that we plan to continue to require a mandatory face mask on board our aircraft for the remainder of this summer schedule and next winter’s schedule,” said O’Leary.
He said this could stay that way until spring next year unless there were new guidelines from the European authorities.
Mr O’Leary is keen to get his planes back in the air so Ryanair can make money and sell tickets again.
The company saw massive success last year, carrying only around 33 million passengers as of February, compared to 154 million in the same period last year.
Airlines now hope that vaccination efforts this summer can lead to a return to normal vacation schedules, with European destinations primarily coming back into question.
“Families will travel to and from the UK to and from Europe and during the summer holidays they will go to the beaches of Europe which have been well deserved after the last 12 months,” O’Leary said.
“I’m happy to announce that bookings have risen sharply lately as the UK also introduced restrictions two weeks ago when Germany eased its travel restrictions. We have seen a significant increase in bookings.” he said.
Mr. O’Leary added that the airline could survive another lost summer of travel – but saw little reason to do so.
He said: “If you are honestly fully vaccinated I would be very surprised if there was a legal basis for the UK government to prevent people from going on vacation to other European countries, which the UK vaccine rollout program is up to to caught up in late May or late June. “