March 18, 2020 / 2:04 PM / 11 days ago

Ryanair to ground most if not all flights from March 24

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair plane is seen at Luton Airport as the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world London, Britain, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair expects to ground most if not all of its flights from March 24 except a very small number mostly between Britain and Ireland to maintain essential connectivity, the airline said on Wednesday.

Ryanair said this week that it would ground most of its aircraft over the next seven to 10 days as Europe’s biggest low-cost airline braced for an up to 80% cut in capacity over the next two months and the possible grounding of its entire fleet due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

“Ryanair will continue to stay in close contact with the foreign ministries of all EU governments on the repatriation of EU citizens, and where possible we may operate rescue flights to support this repatriation,” the Irish carrier said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely

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