Ryanair plans to operate 80% of its normal UK capacity during the summer 2021 peak.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said he would operate 80% of capacity during the peak months this year and 50% in April and May.
He confirmed 26 new UK routes and said planning had been encouraged by the success of the UK vaccination programme, he said.
“I think there is very little chance the entire summer period will be a write-off,” he said.
O’Leary said he would be surprised if there were any legal barriers to travel this summer with 80% of the UK population predicted to receive the jab by June. He also predicted Europe would be “awash in vaccinations in April, May and June”.
“I think it is very difficult then to persuade the UK population to sit at home or holiday at home.”
He dismissed the threat of travellers bringing in new Covid variants to the UK on their return.
“The UK variant originated in Kent, it did not originate as a result of UK air travel.
“Yes, there will be more variants, but when you have 80% vaccination (by June), you will largely be at herd immunity. You don’t need to get to zero-Covid to get back to international travel.”