Ryanair will not cancel flights to and from the United Kingdom despite the introduction of a 14-day quarantine for Expats and International travellers, because thousands of Britons are still booking holidays, says CEO, Michael O’Leary.
New rules requiring all arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect on Monday even though Ryanair, EasyJet and BA-owner IAG have threatened legal action over what they called a draconian move that will cripple the British tourism industry.
The mandatory quarantine is designed to prevent a second surge of Covid-19 and those who breach the rules face a £1,000 fine.
The quarantine rules will be reviewed every three weeks and in the meantime, the possibility of air bridges is being discussed with some top European destinations, such as Portugal.
O’Leary is adamant that July and August flights will not be cancelled even if the mandatory quarantine rule remains in place.
“The flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it's rubbish,” he said. “Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece on July 1st, 2nd, 3rd and every day after that.”
Airlines all over the world were forced to ground their planes in March, but are hoping to start flying again from July to rescue their summer season.
All three airlines have sent a “pre-action protocol letter” denouncing the UK mandatory quarantine plan as “wholly unjustified and disproportionate” and legal action may follow.
O'Leary says he expects British tourists to book holidays in Europe but pointed out that European tourists will be put off travelling to Britain, hammering the domestic tourism industry.