Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Ryanair threatens to leave Ireland unless government lifts travel restrictions

‘You can’t do business with a 14-day quarantine’

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 04 September 2020 08:44 BST
Ryanair described Ireland's 'green list' as having a "severe, detrimental effect” on the country's tourism industry
Ryanair described Ireland's 'green list' as having a "severe, detrimental effect” on the country's tourism industry (istock)

Ryanair has threatened to leave Ireland if Covid-19 travel restrictions remain in place.

The budget Irish carrier has warned it will move operations out of Ireland during the winter season unless the government does away with its “green list”.

The list is comprised of countries that are deemed safe to travel to and which do not require travellers to quarantine upon arrival.

Eddie Wilson, Ryanair’s CEO, appealed to the Irish government to act on the final report of the Taskforce for Aviation Recovery published in August by “the best brains in the aviation industry”.

“We haven’t heard anything. And now we’re going into the winter and we’re going to have to move that capacity out of Ireland. You can’t do business with a 14-day quarantine,” he said.

Ryanair claims Ireland and its public health team have become “the laughing stock of Europe” due to the cautious approach it has taken in relation to overseas visitors.

The company, which is headquartered in Dublin, has requested that the UK, the US and Germany also be added to the green list, as a bare minimum.

In July, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he would be taking a “cautious approach” when it came to foreign travel, but Ryanair has said that the green list has had a “severe, detrimental effect” on the Irish tourism industry.

The carrier has called on the Irish government to offer incentives in the form of cuts to airport charges in all Irish airports over the next three years.

“If Ireland doesn’t act now with incentives to attract traffic this winter and for next year and beyond, then airlines will plan accordingly and migrate that traffic to the other 27 EU countries and the UK where there will be incentives to increase traffic, but more importantly – no travel restrictions,” a company statement said.

The budget carrier flew seven million passengers in August, nearly half the number it carried for the same month in 2019.

The figure was a significant increase on July, however, when it flew just 4.4 million people, and June with just 400,000 passengers.

In total, Ryanair reported that it had carried 88.9 million passengers in 2020 so far, down 40 per cent on 2019.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in