World Europe

Italy threatens Ryanair with flight ban over COVID-19 safety rules

Italy’s civil aviation authority ENAC threatened to suspend Ryanair’s permit to fly to the country citing non-compliance with COVID-19 safety rules.

ENAC said in a statement that “Ryanair systematically does not comply” with national regulations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission when flying to and from Italian airports.

“Not only is the obligation of distancing between passengers not observed, but also the conditions that allow derogation from this distancing are not met,” it added.

It warned that if the Irish airline persists in flouting the rules, it could require Ryanair to only fly planes at half capacity or worse, “suspend all air transport activities at national airports, requiring the carrier to re-route all passengers already in possession of tickets”.

Ryanair rejected ENAC’s accusations as “factually incorrect” in a statement to Euronews.

“Ryanair complies fully with the measures set out by the Italian government and our customers can rest assured that we are doing everything to reduce interaction on both our aircraft and at airports to protect the health of our passengers when flying Ryanair,” it added.

It argued that it encourages all passengers to check-in online and that specific boarding procedures have been put in place to “avoid unnecessary gathering of passengers both at boarding gates and onboard the aircraft”.

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