Ryanair, BA and easyJet Launch Joint Legal Action Over Quarantine Measures

Three of Europe’s largest airlines have launched legal action against the UK government over its “flawed” 14-day quarantine measures.

In a joint media statement, Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet said the requirement for all inbound passengers to isolate for 14 days upon arrival into the country would have a “devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.”

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's CEO last month, desribed the measures as "ineffective and useless". Ryanair

The group have asked for their judicial review to be heard as soon as possible.

The trio say their legal challenge against the legislation is based upon four factors including, “the fact this quarantine, by criminal law, is more stringent than the guidelines applied to people who actually have COVID-19”, “there was no consultation and no scientific evidence provided for such a severe policy”, “that, for example, if you are a French or German worker commuting weekly to the UK you will be exempted” and “the UK Government is banning people travelling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK.”

British Airways
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways' parent company IAG, said the quarantine plans "torpedoed" the airline's attempt to restart in July. Heathrow Airports

Ryanair, BA and easyJet want the government to revert to a previous plan – announced in early March – to limit quarantine to passengers from “high risk” countries. They say this would be the “most practical and effective solution and enables civil servants to focus on other, more significant, issues arising from the pandemic while bringing the UK in line with much of Europe which is opening its borders mid-June.”

Luton-based easyJet is gradually resuming operations across Europe after it grounded all of its aircraft on March 30, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. easyJet