Ryanair boss expects passengers to wear masks until summer 2022

Face masks required until at least summer 2022.


An airline boss has shared his prediction thatΒ passengers could be required to wear face masks on flights until summer 2022.


Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary said despite his confidence that vaccination programmes will help reopen travel, he expects face masks to remain as a requirement to fly.


“We’re planning to continue to require mandatory face-mask wearing on board our aircraft through the remainder of this summer schedule and next winter’s schedule,” he said.


The policy will helpΒ “minimise risk of spread of Covid and other colds.”


He added that there has been “very little evidence of transmission on short-haul flights” when passengers and crew are wearing masks.


Ryanair hopes to operate at around 80% of its pre-crisis capacity in the June-September 2021 period, with O’Leary forecasting that “Europe will be awash with vaccines by the middle of the summer.”


The company has taken a massive hit over the last year, carrying only around 33 million passengers in the year to February, compared to 154 million in the same period a year earlier.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that as part of England’s lockdown roadmap, foreign travel could resume from May 17 at the earliest.


The date is subject to a review by the government’s Global Travel Taskforce which is expected to share an update in April.