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The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair restored its regular flights from the Bratislava airport, nearly four months after the ban was imposed on civilian flights in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The first planes to Burgas (Bulgaria) and Paphos (Cyprus) were dispatched on July 4. Another flight to Thessaloniki (Greece) is scheduled for July 6, and to Corfu (Greece) for July 7.
While last year it operated 26 regular links, the carrier plans to restore only 12 this year.
“Four of them are destinations in the UK, which are currently banned,” said Jozef Pojedinec, head of the Bratislava airport.
Also flights to and from Russia, Ukraine, Dubai, Skopje in North Macedonia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and others are down for now, the airport informed.
Charter season to begin soon
First Ryanair flights from Bratislava
- Paphos (Cyprus): July 4
- Burgas (Bulgaria): July 4
- Thessaloniki (Greece): July 6
- Corfu (Greece): July 7
- Palma de Mallorca, Malaga (Spain): July 7 and 10
- Dublin (Ireland): July 8
- Alghero (Sardinia): July 11
- Flights to London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester banned for now.
Apart from Ryanair, the Bratislava airport restored flights to Sofia (Bulgaria), operated by Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air.
Although Bulgaria dropped from the list of less dangerous countries on July 6, flights are still permitted. However, it is necessary to contact the regional branch of the Public Health Authority, stay in home isolation and took the COVID-19 test on the fifth day after the arrival.
The airport expects to launch the summer charter holiday season in mid-July. Flights to the Greek islands of Zakynthos, Crete and Rhodos, and Burgas will be added from July 16, and there is a plan to restore flights to Antalya (Turkey) and Hurghada (Egypt).
“However, their launch will depend on Slovakia opening borders with Turkey or Egypt, which are currently closed,” said Imrich Ancin, head of the Bratislava airport’s air traffic department.
The restoration of other regular flights will depend on which countries Slovakia adds to its list of less risky states.
Follow hygienic measures
All airports in Slovakia need to follow strict hygienic measures. Passengers are required to cover their faces (except for children younger than three years of age) while at the airport and onboard. They are also required to disinfect their hands when entering the airport building, practice two-metre social distancing on check-in and during a security check. They will also have their body temperature measured after arrival.
Also Ryanair applies some hygienic measures:
- both passengers and crew need to cover their faces;
- planes are disinfected daily with disinfectants used in for example hospitals, whose effect is 24 hours;
- the Ryanair fleet is equipped with HEPA filters that removes air-transmissible particles and claims air every 3-4 minutes;
- hand disinfection for both passengers and crew;
- contactless payments onboard;
- some limitations to board services, ie serving only packed food and beverages, offering the in-flight magazine only in the mobile app.
Read more about the coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia:
- These are the measures currently in place in Slovakia
- How Slovakia prepared for the coronavirus
- Do I have the coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion
- More information about what the coronavirus is and how to protect yourself from the infection (WHO)
- Situation update on EU/EEA and the UK as of March 6 morning
- Q&A: State of emergency declared about coronavirus