(Adding O’Leary’s comments on British quarantine; Ryanair to challenge Irish quarantine in court)
DUBLIN, July 27 (Reuters) – Ryanair has no plans to reduce capacity to Spain after the British government suggested not to make an important trip to the country because COVID-19, the move of Group Executive Chairman Michael O’Leary was called “poorly managed overreaction” .
Britain on Saturday reinstated two weeks of quarantine for travelers arriving from Spain after a surge in corona virus cases, reversing the decision to cancel the requirements on July 10.
“It seems that overreaction is poorly managed,” O’Leary said in a call with investors in which he said the British government was “panicking” rather than focusing on limiting trips to certain areas with high infection rates.
“There is no scientific basis for national restrictions,” O’Leary said.
Asked whether Ryanair would reduce capacity between the two countries, Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan told Reuters: “We have no plans to reduce capacity in the medium term.”
Ryanair has seen a decline in bookings to Spain over the next 2-3 weeks as a result of a surge in infections, with the decline becoming more pronounced over the weekend as Britain moves to impose quarantine, O’Leary said.
However, it is still too early to say whether there will be an uptick to alternative destinations.
Ryanair this week will launch a legal challenge to a similar 14-day quarantine introduced by the Irish government, which only freed 14 countries, including Greece and Italy but not Spain, Britain or the United States, O’Leary said. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)