Ryanair will restore 40 per cent of its flights from July 1, the Irish low-cost carrier has said, after running a skeleton service since mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic grounded planes worldwide.

"Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, restoring 90 percent of its pre-COVID-19 route network," the Dublin-based carrier said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Crew and passengers will wear face masks and have to pass temperature checks, while social distancing at airports and on aircraft "will be encouraged", it added.

Flights from Malta to a list of 31 countries can be booked on the airline's website but health authorities have not said when the island's commercial flight ban will be lifted.

'Get Europe flying again'

"It is important for our customers and our people that we return to some normal schedules from 1 July," said Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson, who sits under group head Michael O'Leary. 

"After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and restart Europe's tourism industry, which provides so many millions of jobs."

Wilson added that Ryanair would "work closely with public health authorities to ensure that these flights comply, where possible, with effective measures to limit the spread of COVID-19".

He added that as has been the case in Asia, "temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the most effective way to achieve this on short haul" flights in Europe.

Staff cuts

He said the resumption of nearly half Ryanair's flights schedule would "allow those tourism-based economies such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and others, to recover what is left of this year's tourism season".

With air transport paralysed by the coronavirus, Ryanair is cutting 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, or 15 percent of staff, mirroring moves by airlines globally.

News of flights resuming comes after the UK, a significant market for Ryanair, revealed at the weekend that international arrivals will soon face a 14-day quarantine to stop new coronavirus infections.

British Airways' owner IAG had already warned that pre-crisis passenger demand would not return until 2023 at the earliest.

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