Ryanair will institute temperature checks, require masks and prohibit queuing for toilets to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus when flights return on July 1.
Toilets will be made available on request, Ryanair said Tuesday in a statement. The Irish low-cost carrier, which has grounded its fleet since late March, plans to restart with about 40 per cent of its normal flight schedules, it said.
The comeback is dependent on government restrictions being lifted on flights within Europe. While the European Commission is preparing recommendations for removing border controls, there are signs that the reopening will be bumpy.
Within the European Union, each nation sets its own rules on re-entry. The UK, which just left the bloc but remains a major hub for flights in the region, plans a 14-day quarantine on incoming travellers that executives have decried as tantamount to a ban. Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary, meanwhile, has railed against state-aid plans and this week challenged a French bailout of Air France-KLM.
The carrier said it would restart flights from most of its bases, and will offer seats starting from 20 euros ($36.19) one-way.
Service will feature fewer checked bags, online check-ins and boarding passes downloadable to smart phones, it said.
The UK plan casts doubt on a reopening plan of numerous European airlines that had planned to restart travel in coming months.
The International Air Transport Association has called for a coordinated approach to reopening in Europe, while acknowledging the challenges given that different countries have different infection rates.
The EU recommendations, due Wednesday, are part of a "tourism package" of non-binding guidelines and the like covering everything from health measures to travel vouchers. The EU's digital chief, Margrethe Vestager, told lawmakers last week that digital contact tracing apps might "enable at least some travelling during the summer."