Ryanair group CEO Michael O’Leary is challenging Covid-19 travel policy in the courts. (Photo: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Life, loss, and liberty: The inside story of Ryanair versus Ireland

In legal proceedings aimed at overturning overseas travel restrictions, the budget carrier claims the government's coronavirus travel advice amounts to an undemocratic "diktat".

13th Aug, 2020 - 14 min read

Ryanair says its legal challenge to the government’s Covid-19 travel policy is about personal liberty and the rights of individuals. But of course, it is also about business and money.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the trillion-euro global travel industry and the budget airline, among the largest in Europe, has not escaped its chilling economic effects.

Last month Ryanair recorded a quarterly loss of €185 million to the end of June compared to a profit of €243 million for the same period in 2019. 

It was the most challenging quarter in the airline’s 35-year history.

The carrier flew 4.4 million passengers in...

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