Marc Linder

Ryanair launches 26 new routes as boss predicts ‘significant easing of travel restrictions’

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has announced he is ‘very optimistic summer holidays will be able to go ahead this summer’ – so optimistic in fact that the low-airline is launching 26 new routes throughout Europe.

While Boris Johnson’s government emits veiled threats of fines for citizens who dare to escape to foreign sunshine, O’Leary seems to have an inside source on what’s really cooking.

He told a press conference today that he’s hopeful for “significant easing of travel restrictions” by June.

“I think it is very difficult to persuade the UK population to sit at home, or holiday at home when everybody’s been vaccinated,” he said.

There is “little chance” that the summer will be a “write off”, particularly as there is “plenty of pent-up demand for travel”.

Coming on a day when other news sources are still discussing the possibility of  a complete ban on from Brits travelling abroad, Mr O’Leary’s optimism has come as a ray of early summer sunshine.

The punchy Irishman told reporters that he thinks Europe will “soon follow in Britain’s footsteps” in that the continent will be “awash with vaccines”, to the point it will have “caught up with the UK vaccination programme”. 

“We expect there to be a significant easing of travel restrictions, in fact doing away with restrictions, on travel between the UK and continental European destinations,” he said – pointing out that Spain, Greece and Portugal have all announced they will be ready for holidaymakers from May 17  onwards.

Ryanair is so positive of a “strong summer in 2021” that it is waiving its flight change fee, says the Express, “in a bid to give holidaymakers more confidence when it comes to booking”.

The airline is due to serve 23 airports, operating almost 500 routes from UK airports (including the 26  new ones).

In short, said Mr O’Leary, “Ryanair, we believe, is poised to drive UK holiday travel with our exciting news.” 

[email protected]