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Ryanair Tells European Union to Speed Up its Vaccine Rollout So Summer Holidays Can Go Ahead

Ryanair Tells European Union to Speed Up its Vaccine Rollout So Summer Holidays Can Go Ahead

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The low-cost airline Ryanair has told the European Union to “step up the slow pace” of its mass COVID-19 vaccination which has got off to a stuttering and controversial start. Despite pledging to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible adults by the end of the Summer, the EU has currently only vaccinated around 2.74 in every 100 people as of January 30 according to data compiled by Our World in Data.

Ryanair would like the European Union to emulate the success of former member the United Kingdom which has so far vaccinated nearly 14 per cent of its population. The Irish airline said it “took comfort” from the speed of the UK’s vaccine rollout, suggesting Ryanair believes mass vaccination is the key to reopening travel.

As soon as that happens, Ryanair said it expects a “rapid” recovery through the Summer months while muscling in on markets left behind by airlines that no longer exist because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We expect intra-European capacity to be significantly reduced for the next few years, which will create growth opportunities for Ryanair (Europe’s lowest-cost airline) to take advantage of recovery growth incentives, as it takes delivery of 210 new (lower cost) Boeing 737s,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.

Ryanair predicted a record annual loss of up to €950 million as passenger numbers plummeted by 78 per cent. Renewed lockdowns and increasingly strict travel restrictions continue to “wreak havoc across the industry,” the airline said.

“Ryanair expects the latest lockdowns and pre-arrival Covid test requirement to materially reduce flight schedules and traffic through to Easter,” a statement continued. The financial year which stretches from April 2020 through to the end of March 2021 will “continue to be the most challenging year in Ryanair’s 35-year history.”

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