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Travel latest: Quarantine ‘utter failure’ as first Ryanair flights two thirds full

The first wave of Ryanair flights departed two thirds full today as British families are prepared to ignore UK quarantine to go on their summer holidays, Michael O’Leary has said. 

The low-cost airline returned hundreds of its aircraft to the skies today, carrying 105,000 passengers, as it ramped up its schedule after a three-month pandemic hiatus. 

Speaking to Telegraph Travel, O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, said early indications showed a load factor of 67 per cent. “We expected it to be weaker, but it’s quite clear that British families going on holidays have decided, one, either the quarantine will be removed before they come home, or two, they will fill in the form and then just go about their normal lives,” he said.

The Government is expected to announce details of its air bridge schemes tomorrow, but travel agents have said confusion over the plans has stopped them from selling holidays they cannot guarantee will take place. 

Lee Hunt, managing director of Deben Travel, said he was reluctant to accept bookings for July and August, adding: “Personally I’m not prepared to take the risk until there’s a bit more clarity.”

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