Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) has launched legal proceedings against the Irish prime minister and the state at the High Court in Dublin in an effort to ease the travel “restrictions” put in place for all but 15 countries, the airline said on July 31.

The Irish carrier claims that the limitations are detrimental to its business and continue to be imposed even though the situation in Europe, its main market, is improving. This makes the restrictions unlawful, interfering with consumers' rights, it said.

The Irish government’s green list of countries, for which a 14-day quarantine requirement does not apply, is “ineffective”, it added. The list allows unrestricted travel to some Ryanair destinations, such as Greece and Italy, but not others, such as Great Britain, France, and Spain.

“We have now cut ourselves off from the largest economies in Europe, Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, and telling them that Ireland is closed for business,” Ryanair argued in a submission to the Irish parliament's Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in late July.

According to the Irish Independent, Ryanair will seek a judicial review stating that the list was not approved in the country's legislation and has not been debated in the parliament.

Aer Lingus parent IAG International Airlines Group has joined the legal proceedings as a notice party, which means it could be heard in court, chief executive Willie Walsh told the Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

Speaking in a conference call to reporters last week, Walsh was highly critical of the Irish government's travel advice, saying that people should not have to self-isolate for 14 days just because they have been flying. Government advice should be "more targetted" and "more balanced", he opined, instead of being "more extreme than in other parts of the world".