Ryanair has taken the drastic step to ground the majority of its fleet in the face of the Covid-19 virus.
The airline says: Over the past 7 days, Italy, Malta, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Norway and Cyprus have imposed flight bans of varying degrees, from all flights to/from the country, or banned flights to/from countries with high risk of Covid infection. Over the weekend for example, Poland and Norway have banned all international flights, while in other countries (without travel bans) there has been severe reduction of ATC and essential airport services.
Ryanair expects the result of these restrictions will be the grounding of the majority of its aircraft fleet across Europe over the next 7 to 10 days. In those countries where the fleet is not grounded, social distancing restrictions may make flying to all intents and purposes, impractical, if not, impossible.
Ryanair currently flies over 450 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operates hundreds of routes across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“At the Ryanair Group Airlines, we are doing everything we can to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has over the last week caused extraordinary and unprecedented travel restrictions to be imposed by National Governments, in many cases with minimal or zero notice. “
Expect to see the aircraft grounded at the airline’s major bases, notably Dublin, London Stansted etc.