Ryanair Holdings Plc said Greek citizens will be able to buy tickets for its flights using hard currency as bank-card transactions are increasingly declined as a result of capital controls imposed by the government.
“Ryanair has now provided the option for Greeks looking to travel to buy their plane tickets in cash at the Ryanair ticket desk at its airports,” Europe’s biggest discount airline said in a statement Wednesday. Other nationals should carry on making purchases via its website, the Dublin-based company said.
Ryanair, which said it accepts cash at all 11 Greek airports that it serves, relies predominantly on cashless transactions because the vast majority of its customers buy their tickets online, part of a business model that provides only rudimentary service on the ground.
Greece imposed capital controls Monday to stop money draining out of the country after initially refusing the conditions of its creditors for unblocking aid. Banks will be closed until at least July 6, with a daily cash withdrawal limit of 60 euros ($66). That’s enough to buy a one-way ticket from Athens to London next week on the discount carrier.
Ryanair bases four aircraft in Athens, serving 12 destinations including London, Milan and Brussels, with the operation forecast to attract 2.2 million customers this year, according to its website. The carrier also has smaller bases in Thessaloniki and Crete and serves eight other locations. [Bloomberg]