Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary has vowed his airline will not fly to or from London Heathrow: “Never as long as I live and breathe.”
he only time Ryanair planes were seen at Heathrow was in 2010, when British Airways chartered some jets for short-haul flights during a cabin crew strike.
During the daily travel podcast for The British Independentthe CEO of Europe’s largest low-cost airline also called on the next prime minister to “negotiate a reasonable free trade agreement” with the European Union.
He said an agreement should allow free movement of workers – “because there aren’t enough people here in the UK who want to do these jobs”.
Mr O’Leary criticized “the hard Brexit that Johnson and his ship of fools have wreaked on the UK economy”.
He said: “For the hospitality, retail, farming and aviation sectors, we need Europeans who are willing to work for the wages we can afford.
“You’ve needed them for about 200 years, so it’s going to be the same for the next 20 years.
“So get the economy going – open the restaurants, reopen the hotels.
“The solution to this is not just to raise wages, because that only adds to the challenges of consumer price inflation here with us. In the UK you are already seeing inflation in excess of 18 per cent.”
Ahead of the 2016 referendum, in which a majority voted to leave the European Union, Mr O’Leary traveled to Westminster to lobby for a “Remain” vote.
Earlier this year, the government said in its publication The benefits of Brexit: “Brexit allows us to improve the experience of British air travelers. These include improved protections for UK travelers, such as access to compensation, as well as increasing competition, which over time will drive down prices, improve service quality and expand passenger choice.
“We will deliver a lower environmental footprint and an aviation sector that drives sustainable growth across all regions of the UK and adds value to the UK. Brexit supports new growth opportunities in the UK.
“We have more freedom and flexibility to enable airports to support local areas with inward investment, jobs and a scale-up across the UK.”
The Government has announced that domestic air passenger tax will be halved from April 2023, encouraging a shift from rail to air for travel within the UK.
However, Mr O’Leary called for the £13/€15 tax on departures to European Union destinations to be abolished.
Mr O’Leary, 61, also narrated The Independent he has no intention of retiring in the near future.
“I have four teenage children who, luckily, are going back to school tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t want to spend more time with my kids. I’m thinking about retiring when they grow up.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/ryanair-will-not-fly-from-heathrow-while-i-live-and-breathe-says-michael-oleary-41952678.html Ryanair won’t fly from Heathrow “as long as I live and breathe,” says Michael O’Leary