Grounding and maintaining a fleet of nearly 500 state-of the-art aircraft is no small feat. Today Ryanair described how their Director of Engineering, Karsten Muehlenfeld, and team maintained the fleet to the highest safety standards during the lockdown.
Ryanair relaunched their flight operations on July 1st, 2020 offering over 1,000 daily flights to popular European destinations. On Wednesday (July 8, 2020) the company gave their Director of Engineering, Karsten Muehlenfeld and his engineering team a well-deserved “shout-out” for maintaining the fleet to the highest safety standards throughout the lockdown. As you probably know, mothballing a fleet of 460 state-of-the-art Boeing and 20 Airbus A320 aircraft is no small undertaking. Unlike parking a car for a while, these birds need to fly on a regular basis so all systems can be evaluated and maintained. Prior to the pandemic, Ryanair operated more than 2,500 daily flights and engineers had to inspect the aircraft overnight. The European Union’s flight restrictions created additional complexities for Ryanair’s engineering team as passenger aircraft cannot be left idle for over three months. In Wednesday’s announcement, Mr. Muehlenfeld said,
“At Ryanair, the COVID-19 lockdown presented the engineering team with many challenges. We thought a lot about how to maintain our aircraft to the highest safety standards – this included visual inspections every 2 days as well as test flights every fortnight to ensure all systems were operating correctly. We made sure all our aircraft were fitted with HEPA filters which remove 99% of airborne particles, including SARs-CoV-2 droplets. Our cabins are also cleaned daily, with a fluid that ensures bacteria and viruses cannot sustain on surfaces. This disinfectant is effective for more than 24 hours. As we return to the skies, we look forward to flying Ryanair passengers across Europe on our state-of-the-art aircraft which operate to the highest health and safety standards.”
Ryanair Holdings, plc is Europe’s largest airline conglomerate and the parent company of Buzz, Lauda, Malta Air, and Ryanair DAC. The airline normally carries over 154 million passengers annually with over 2,500 daily departures. Ryanair usually serves over 200 destinations in 40 countries with a fleet of 460 Boeing 737 Family aircraft and 20 Airbus A320s. Currently, the low-cost carrier has an additional 321 Boeing 737s on order and the Ryanair Group expects annual traffic to reach 200 million customers by FY 2024. The airline has maintained a stellar safety record for over 34 years and prides itself on being “Europe’s greenest cleanest airline group,” promising customers a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 50%, versus the “Big 4 EU major airlines.”