Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary says he “does not expect” the group to operate any flights in April and May, as the coronavirus pandemic causes travel restrictions around the world.
In a statement released today, O’Leary said “most flights” would be suspended from Tuesday March 24 onwards.
He added that the schedule would “depend upon government advice”.
O’Leary recently moved Ryanair to a group structure comprised of Ryanair, Austria-based Lauda, Poland-based Buzz, and new carrier Malta Air.
He said the group has offered its aircraft to EU governments for rescue flights and the movement of medicine, protective equipment and, if necessary, food supplies.
He also apologised for disruption already caused to customers due to the introduction of flight bans.
Anyone with a flight booked should receive an email outlining their options within the next two weeks.
The airline said it had already reduced staff numbers by 50 per cent, and asked people not to call customer service agents, who will be prioritising the processing of rescue flights in the coming days.
“At this time, no one knows how long this Covid shutdown will last,” O’Leary said.
“The experience in China suggests a three-month period for the spread of the virus to be contained and reduced.
“We do not expect to operate flights during April and May at this time, but this will clearly depend upon government advice, and we will in all cases comply with these instructions.”