Irish budget airline Ryanair (FR/RYR) is to cut 1,000 Irish flights from its schedule with the loss of 200,000 passengers as the row with the Irish government over quarantine heats up.
The flight cuts through August and September will largely affect Shannon, Cork, Knock and Kerry as the airline says that Ireland remains “closed for business”.
A Spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Last week when the UK and Northern Ireland removed travel restrictions on short haul flights to/from the European Union, Ireland became the only country in the EU with a blanket 14 day quarantine restriction on all arrivals from EU countries, most of which have lower Covid case rates than Ireland.
“It makes no sense, when Governments all over Europe have opened up EU flights since 1st June and removed travel restrictions on intra-EU travel, that the Irish Govt continues to treat countries like Germany, Denmark and Greece as if they were suffering similar levels of Covid as the USA, Brazil and India. Irish citizens are being advised by their Govt that they should not travel to and from EU countries (almost all of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland), yet citizens of Northern Ireland can travel freely to and from the EU – via Dublin Airport – without any quarantine restrictions whatsoever.
“Air travel between Ireland and the UK is being badly damaged by this ineffective 14-day quarantine.”
The airline has called on the Irish Government to urgently remove all travel restrictions between Ireland and EU countries, which is says largely have lower Covid case rates than Ireland,
Ryanair also pointed out that Micheál Martin, the prime minister of Ireland, did not quarantine when returning from Brussels this week so it says “why should any other Irish or EU citizen be treated differently.”
The UK has removed travel restrictions for most counties under so-called “air bridge” agreements which removes the need to self-quarantine for 14-days.