Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has written to customers to apologise for inconvenience caused by the coronavirus outbreak and insisting the airline will emerge “stronger” from the crisis.

He said: “On behalf of all of us in Ryanair, we are truly sorry for any inconvenience the Covid-19 crisis may be causing you and your family.

“The safety and the well-being of our people and customers is our main priority, and we are working closely with all state authorities to follow all WHO and EASA guidelines to minimise any health risk to our people and customers.”

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He added: “Over the last 35 years we have faced many crisis situations and, on every occasion, thanks to our customers and our people, Ryanair has emerged stronger.”

O’Leary said the airline had “raised many procedures beyond protocols required by authorities” to minimise risk, including enhancing overnight cleaning with every aircraft interior being treated with hospital-grade disinfectant.

He added that the Ryanair fleet was fitted with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestors) filters, which “remove particles in the air, down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters (with an efficiency of better than 99.99%)”.