Pan-European budget carrier Ryanair has become the largest carrier in Europe to indicate it may suspend its services in the light of travel restrictions to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Flight Global reported that European carriers have over the past week been announcing increasingly large cut in their services, as country’s tighten their border controls.
A number have called a halt to flights altogether for the coming weeks – or will just operate a few flights to accommodate returning nationals. Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger number in 2019, had already warned it expected to park the majority of its fleet over the next week to 10 days as the impact of the coronavirus escalates, and could suspend all of its services for April and May.
It stated that from March 18th until midnight March 24th, the group would shut down operations on four-fifths of its routes.
It expects that after 24 March, “most if not all Ryanair Group flights will be grounded”, with the possible exception of a few key routes, mostly between the UK and Ireland.” Air Malta had earlier announced it would suspend all flights from 20 March.