Ryanair’s permit to fly to Italy is under threat over alleged non-compliance with Covid-19 safety rules.

The country’s civil aviation authority Enac warned that it was considering suspending the no-frills airline’s permit for “repeated violations of the Covid-19 health regulations currently in force and imposed by the Italian government to protect the health of passengers”.

Enac said in a statement: “Not only is the obligation to distance passengers not respected, but the conditions for making an exception to that rule are also being ignored.”

Sources at Enac told Italian media that the airline’s breaches include cabin crew failing to enforce the wearing of masks by passengers and sufficiently stagger disembarkation.

There are said to be particular concerns about passengers rushing to remove cabin baggage from overhead lockers upon landing, The Times reported.

The regulator said that if the airline fails to make changes it may be able to operate at only 50% capacity.

If “further non-compliance” is witnessed the airline will be stripped of its right to operate, it said.

Under Italian regulations, social distancing can be relaxed if a carrier uses high-efficiency particulate air filters on board, but passengers must wear masks and standing in the alley be kept to a minimum.

Enac said in a statement: “Not only is the obligation to distance passengers not respected, but the conditions for making an exception to that rule are also being ignored.”

A spokesperson for the carrier said: “Ryanair is committed to the highest level of safety for our passengers and crew at all times.

“The claims made today are factually incorrect. Ryanair complies fully with the measures set out by the Italian government and our customers can rest assured that we are doing everything to reduce interaction on both our aircraft and at airports to protect the health of our passengers.”

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