The chief executive of Ryanair has pressed the case for Ireland to remove its restrictions on non-essential air travel and quarantining, saying it must align with the rest of Europe on such guidelines.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Eddie Wilson said his airline's return to service is predicated on the guidelines issued by the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Aviation Safety Authority.

He said Europe has reopened air travel and Ireland is the "only one out of sync".

Ryanair has called on the Government to act immediately on the recommendations of its Aviation Recovery Taskforce in lifting the ban on quarantine restrictions on 1 July.

However, the taskforce report has yet to be finalised and there is no guarantee that it will be fully approved by Cabinet. 

Earlier, public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally strongly advised against lifting quarantine controls and recommended that flights should take place only between countries where the virus is under control.

Protocols are in place, Mr Wilson said, so people should have confidence to travel on planes.

He highlighted "excellent" filtration systems that are on all modern aircraft.

"The Hepa filters remove in excess of 99% of particles," he said.

"They are hospital grade extraction systems. We don't have air circulating around the cabin. It is taken out of the cabin."

On job losses, Mr Wilson said Ryanair has lost 250 people from non-flying areas of the business.

It has also notified the Government that 120 pilots and in excess of 130 cabin crew could lose their positions.

But he said the airline is working with British and Irish unions to avoid redundancies.

A 20% wage reduction is being sought for pilots and a 10% reduction for cabin crew, he said.

Mr Wilson said the airline has reached agreement in many countries and the British pilot union is to ballot members for a 20% pay cut.

He said pay will be restored over four years.

Dipping into reserves to cover the cost of Covid-19 is not workable, "because if we did then we would be out of business in 12 months' time", he said.

He said the efficient air carriers will survive the significant impact of Covid-19 but he said small carriers "will be swallowed up by the larger ones."

"We have come through significant changes before, 9/11, volcanoes, SARS," he stated.

Approximately 1,000 flights will recommence from July 1st to 90% of Ryanair's destinations, which he said represents 40% of its normal capacity.

He said this will be ramped up to reach 60% capacity in August.