Ryanair: surge of flight bookings for Italy

Britain's three biggest airlines initiate legal action over UK quarantine.

Ryanair, the low-cost Irish airline, says it has been a "surge" of British and Irish people booking flights to holiday destinations including Italy this summer.

A Ryanair spokesperson told The Irish Times that "thousands" of British and Irish holidaymakers were booking flights to Italy, Portugal and Spain, despite the covid-19 quarantine rules for those arriving in the UK and in Ireland, as well as official advice from the Irish government to avoid non-essential travel.

The statement from the company followed an Irish Times interview by Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary who said: "Flights are full outbound from the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish."

O'Leary's remarks come as Britain’s three biggest airlines - British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair - initiate legal proceedings against the British government in a bid to overturn the "disproportionate and unfair" quarantine rules, which require those arriving into the UK to self-isolate for two weeks.

“Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece from 1 July, the 2nd, the 3rd and every day after that”, O'Leary told The Irish Times.

"They are booking in their thousands already over the last 10 days" - O'Leary said - "All they want to know is when can they fly, and nobody’s worried about the Irish or the UK quarantine.”

O'Leary's comments, which increase pressure on both British and Irish governments to ease travel restrictions, come as The Telegraph reports that bosses in the UK's travel and hospitality industry have been privately assured by the British government that “air bridges” will be introduced for foreign summer holidays by the end of June, to replace blanket quarantine.

O'Leary also said recently that Britain's introduction of a “completely ineffective, useless” quarantine would do untold damage to the country’s tourism industry.

Separately, Ryanair has announced that it will scrap its flight change fee for all customers who book to travel in July and August of this year, allowing people to move their flights free of charge until 31 December 2020.

See below official travel information for Italy, Ireland and the UK.

Photo credit: Stefano Garau / Shutterstock.com