Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary spoke about the possibility of partial resumption of air traffic with Ukraine in an interview to Interfax-Ukraine.
“We are considering two plans: one – when the war ends and everything opens up in one or two days. And the second, the most likely, that we can schedule a small number of flights as early as the end of this year,” said Mr. O’Leary.
As an example, the head of Ryanair cited the experience of Israel, where aviation continues to operate despite the threat of rocket attacks.
“Planes land every day in Tel Aviv, which is only a 10-minute drive from the West Bank, from where the rockets are launched. It was determined that it was safe to fly and they could protect the plane. Therefore, I see no reason why we cannot return flights [to Ukraine],” Michael O’Leary noted.
According to Mr. O’Leary, the Ministry of Reconstruction is currently working to restore some flights to Ukraine at the end of this year.
“I think we should be optimistic. Currently, the ministry is working on resuming some flights to Kyiv and Lviv at the end of this year. And if they can prove that it’s safe, we will operate those flights,” Ryanair’s CEO added.
On the other hand, if the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and insurance companies do not agree with this plan, Ryanair will not be able to resume flights.
As for possible destinations, according to Michael O’Leary, they will obviously be Warsaw, Krakow, Berlin, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris.
“Since we have planes based in these cities, we can simply deploy them to serve Kyiv and Lviv. That will happen, I think, within about two to six weeks [after the resumption of flights],” O’Leary added.