DUBLIN, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair has resumed part of its flight service, reported Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE on Wednesday.
Ryanair earlier announced that it would resume 40 percent of its flight service and restore 90 percent of its flight routes starting Wednesday.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Ryanair operated an estimated 2,400 flights over 1,800 routes per day, which mainly connected destinations within Europe in addition to parts of North Africa, according to the figures from the company.
The airline's flight service virtually came to a standstill in April and May because of the flight restrictions and bans imposed in various countries following the outbreak of the pandemic.
In May, Ryanair reported a year-on-year drop of 99.5 percent in passenger numbers on top of a 99.6-percent drop in April.
Ryanair predicted that it could take at least two or three years for its passenger numbers to return to normal levels.
The airline originally planned to carry 155 million passengers in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021, but due to the disruption of the pandemic, the target could fall below 100 million, it said.
To ensure the safety of its passengers as well as its staff following the resumption of flight service, Ryanair has made it mandatory for them to wear face masks or coverings throughout the journey on board its flights.
Passengers taking Ryanair flights also need to have their temperature checked before boarding, and cash will not be accepted in payments either at terminals or on the planes.