Low-cost air carrier Ryanair has brought its flight schedule forward to coincide with changes to Spanish lockdown rules. The airline was due to resume flights on 1st July but restarted some routes on 21st June – the same day Spain lifts its border restrictions to welcome back tourists.
A flight to Alicante in Spain was scheduled to leave East Midlands Airport on Sunday at 3.45pm with a total of 16 Ryanair flights scheduled to and from EMA until the end of the month. And a flight from Manchester Airport touched down at 5.55pm in Tenerife.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “Although we are officially back with 1,000 daily flights from 1st July (across the network), some routes are starting from 21st June.”
When they “officially” restart on 1st July the Irish carrier has said it will operate flights to “key holiday airports” in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.
New on-board safety measures include face masks to be worn on board, and a limited range of refreshments available, with a cashless system.
In a bid to persuade nervous passengers, it had dropped the prices for July and August with one-way fares starting from £27, in a bid to kick-start demand. Airline CEO Michael O’Leary has said that thousands of British families have booked holidays in Portugal, in Spain and Italy for this summer.
Ryanair’s chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “After four months of lockdown, we welcome these moves by governments in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus to open their borders, remove travel restrictions and scrap ineffective quarantines.
“Irish and British families, who have been subject to lockdown for the last 10 weeks, can now look forward to booking their much-needed family holiday to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean destinations for July and August before the schools return in September.
“Ryanair will be offering up to 1,000 daily flights from 1st July, and we have a range of low fare seat sales, perfect for that summer getaway, which we know many parents and their kids will be looking forward to as we move out of lockdown and into the school holidays.”
However, the British Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel and is currently enforcing a 14-day quarantine for those returning from abroad. This policy is due to be reviewed at the end of the month.
The Spanish airport authority has announced that holidaymakers coming into Spain from now will have to pass three health checks. The first will be a document that the traveller must fill in with information on their location during their trip and whether or not they have had coronavirus. The second and third checks will involve having their temperature taken at the arrival airport and a visual inspection. If the passenger fails one of the three checks, he or she will be seen by a doctor.
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha González Laya had said that Spain might have to consider imposing a 14-day quarantine on Brits who visit Spain once the borders reopened on June 21st as the UK was doing the same with Spanish arrivals. However, there was no mention of any enforced quarantine for Brits alongside the airport health controls.