Ryanair has said it expects to ground the “majority” of its aircraft fleet across Europe over the next seven-to-ten days.
Over the past week, the spread of the Covid-19 virus and associated government travel restrictions, many of which have been imposed without notice, have had a significant and negative impact on the schedules the low-cost carrier.
Malta, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Norway and Cyprus are among those destinations to have imposed flight bans of varying degrees.
In those countries where the fleet is not grounded, social distancing restrictions may make flying to all intents and purposes, impractical, if not, impossible, the carrier said.
Ryanair Group chief executive, 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.
“We are communicating with all affected passengers by email and SMS, and we are organising rescue flights to repatriate customers, even in those countries where travel bans have been…