RYANAIR Chief Executive Michael O'Leary has accused the UK government of doing "untold damage" to the economy by refusing to lift what he describes as a "stupid quarantine".
O'Leary spoke to Sky News on Wednesday morning lamenting the continued restrictions on international and domestic air travel, and described the government's policies on the matter as "badly thought out and badly implemented".
"This is the most devastating downturn the airline industry, in its 100-year history, has ever seen," O'Leary said.
"To put it into some context, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, the airlines were grounded for four days. With Covid-19 we've been grounded for four months.
"I think it's irritating that the government is causing a huge amount of this damage with its badly thought out quarantine measures which aren't a quarantine, filling in forms at airports which are then thrown in the bin and not followed up, but are deterring visitors coming to Britain during July and August.
"This is the most devastating downturn the airline industry, in its 100 year history, has ever seen"
Ryanair Chief Exec Michael O'Leary calls on the government to lift the "stupid quarantine" which he says is doing "untold damage" to the economy.https://t.co/b8UB6Y6QKC pic.twitter.com/GOyE4UHvj6
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 1, 2020
"These badly thought out and badly implemented policies, which have no effect on Covid, are doing untold damage to British tourism, to British jobs and to the wider British economy.
"We need to get this stupid quarantine lifted. We need to allow people to move again."
As of today, Ryanair will have 1,000 flights returning to the skies each day as they reopen as much as 90% of their pre-lockdown travelling routes.
After months of severely restricted air travel, it's thought that Ryanair will be operating around 40% of its 'usual' number of daily flights.
O'Leary clearly wants the ability to increase that number, while Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson has this week called on the Irish government to "get the balance right" between public health and business, in a similar call for restrictions on air travel to be lifted, or at the very least, reduced.
It's good to be back👋
This morning we restarted our schedules with 1000 daily flights across Europe 🛫 pic.twitter.com/JZ8DRjDzLG
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) July 1, 2020