Ryanair today announced that it would cut Ireland-UK schedules for the months of August and September by up to 1,000 flights, with the loss of over 200,000 passengers, as Ireland maintains a quarantine restriction on EU visitors even as the UK and Northern Ireland last week opened up air bridges to most EU countries.
Europe’s largest airline says Ireland (which accounts for less than 8% of Ryanair’s traffic), its tourism industry and connectivity for Irish workers commuting particularly to/from the UK is now suffering unrecoverable losses, as arriving EU passengers are forced to quarantine even while the border to Northern Ireland remains wide open with no such quarantines.
Speaking this week, a Spokesperson for Ryanair said, "This unique policy by Ireland, insisting on blanket quarantines with our European neighbours (most of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland) is damaging the recovery of Ireland’s economy and our tourism industry, causing long-term damage to jobs in Ireland’s largest employment sector, with business travellers in particular being told that Ireland is closed for business."
They added, "We call on the Irish Govt to remove all travel restrictions between Ireland and the EU (almost all of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland) as a matter of urgency, so that Ireland’s hotels, guest houses, restaurants and other tourism providers can recover their business and minimise job losses before we reach the downturn winter period. If Micheál Martin does not quarantine for 14 days after visiting Brussels this week, then why should any other Irish or EU citizen be treated differently."