Ryanair will be back flying in and out of Portugal from July 1.
News that the low-cost Irish airline will be picking up 40% of its regular flights from “most of its 80 bases across the continent” comes at the confusing moment when the UK has announced it will be imposing a two-week quarantine on passengers flying into the country from June.
How this could work for holidaymakers that decide to spend time this summer in Portugal is the ‘big question’. Partial answers however have been supplied by Italy.
Says Expresso this week, Italy is entering into agreement with various countries to ensure “no reciprocal quarantines”.
The UK, says the paper, has already made such an agreement with France.
Italy is seeking to forge one also with France, as well as with Germany and Spain. Thus it’s very possibly only a matter of time before Portugal establishes its own ‘safe flying protocols’ to support the national tourism sector.
For now, what we know of Ryanair’s partial return to the skies is that it will come with all the necessary hygiene measures and restrictions, and require passengers to stay in their seats rather than queue for onboard lavatories.
Explain reports, people wishing to go to the lavatory while onboard, will have to inform cabin crew and wait to be ‘called’.
But beyond the kind of restrictions we are all becoming all too used to, flights do look like going forwards: with the 40% rising to 80% of normal schedules by September.
Yes, this is all dependent on no other hitches on the virus-front though more and more these days the consensus seems to be that “economies need to start reopening”. This virus will be with us for a long time, is the message, and we have to “learn to live with it”.
Said the airline’s CEO Eddie Wilson: “After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and allow economies that depend so much on tourism, like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and others, to salvage what’s left of the tourist season”.
Wilson guarantees that Ryanair will work in “strict collaboration with health authorities to guarantee flights respect as much as possible measures to limit the propagation of Covid-19”.
Passengers’ temperatures are likely to be taken at the point of embarkation, and Michael O’Leary, CEO of the Ryanair Group, has conceded that planes will be carrying “fewer passengers than normal” stresses the Financial Times. Some weeks ago, O’Leary condemned the idea of flying planes at ⅔ capacity as “idiotic” (click here).