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 The low-cost airline said it will operate flights to "key holiday airports" in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger
The low-cost airline said it will operate flights to "key holiday airports" in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger
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Ryanair plans to ramp up flights from July 1 

RYANAIR has confirmed that its plan to ramp up flights to 40% of its normal schedule from July 1.

The move comes after Spain announced it will welcome the return of tourists from the same date.

The low-cost airline said it will operate flights to “key holiday airports” in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

It has launched a sale for flights in July and August with one-way fares starting from €29.99 in a bid to kick-start demand for travel following pandemic restrictions..

Since mid-March, Ryanair has only operated a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights per day between the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe.

The Spanish government revealed on Monday that its requirement for overseas visitors to go into quarantine for 14 days will be lifted from July 1.

This followed announcements by other popular tourist destinations that coronavirus restrictions will be gradually eased in the coming weeks.

Ryanair 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 July 1, 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,” he added.

He insisted that all Ryanair flights will operate with new strict hygiene guidelines being put in place.

These include all passengers being required to wear face masks in airports and on board aircraft, and having to ask cabin crew for permission to use the toilet facilities to avoid queues.

Mr Wilson added the airline is excited about welcoming back passengers and brining them opportunities to travel.

“We look forward to welcoming millions of Ryanair passengers and their families back on board, and flying them on holiday as Europe’s economies begin to recover from these difficult recent lockdowns, which have been so successful in reversing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”

Other airlines have also announced plans to boost flight numbers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade currently advises the public against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice.

The Irish Health Authorities also currently require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, and to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form to this effect.

This includes Irish residents.