Peter Bellew COO of Ryanair warned passengers today that flights could be ‘disrupted’ in a matter of weeks.
He told a press conference: “If things aren’t agreed over Brexit, there will be disruption in April.”
It’s the latest in a long line of threats from Michael O’Leary’s airline.
In August 2017, O’Leary first threatened to take flights off sale in September 2018 if an OpenSkies agreement wasn’t reached. The airline has since made other comments like this, including O’Leary’s ‘grounding threat’ yesterday.
However, at the press conference this morning, the airline denied they would be grounding planes, and said O’Leary had been “misquoted”.
CMO Kenny Jacobs said: “Michael is not grounding flights – don’t think he wants this to happen.
“There is a blueprint for transition that is going in the right direction.
“What happens after the transition agreement is less certain – it is more negative than we’d like.”
Twitter users are having their say on the Ryanair news. One said: “Worst airline I’ve ever flown with, no loss to the British public.”
Another added: “Agreed .. used them twice and twice delayed because of cabin crew shortage ! A pilot was avaliable so should be grateful for that i spose!”
Kenny Jacobs explained why “uncertainty” was a concern for the Irish airline, this morning.
He told the press conference: “There’s just uncertainty for any business in terms of making investment decisions whether that’s car manufacturers, or supermarkets, or where you base or aircraft if you’re an airline.
“his uncertainty is more negative for business that making short term profits.
“Worst case scenario we can move aircraft if we have to – but if you’re in the car manufacturing for example, you need to take into consideration a 10 year view, so knowing if Britain is going to be in or out is more important.”
What is Ryanair’s stance on Brexit?
The European airline reportedly flew 44 million passengers to and from the UK in 2017.
But since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, Ryanair has repeatedly warned of the possibility there will be no flights between the UK and Europe once Britain leaves the EU.
The airline has been firmly anti-Brexit due to the changes the decision will bring to the aviation industry.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary warned yesterday the airline may ground planes from the UK as part of a plot to make Brexit voters rethink their choice, and would instead base them elsewhere in Europe.
What Ryanair said about Brexit in 2017
2 August 2017: Michael O’Leary threatened to take flights off sale in September 2018 if an OpenSkies agreement isn’t reached
25 July 2017: Ryanair CFO Neil Sorahan said a “hard” Brexit was a cause for concern on BBC Radio 4
26 July 2017: Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs called on the UK Government for clarity on open skies or risk grounding flights after the EU divorce
27 June 2017: Kenny Jacobs said flights between the UK and the EU could come to a halt for months
15 June 2017: Kenny Jacobs warned UK expats could be stranded if flights stop after Brexit
31 May 2017: Michael O’Leary told hosts on CNBC there could be “months” of chaos with planes not being allowed to fly to and from mainland Europe
30 May 2017: At a press conference O’Leary issued a Brexit doomsday scenario saying “we’ll only have one aircraft per European base”
25 May 2017: O’Leary warned British holiday-goers to get used to travelling by boat as a hard Brexit will shut down all flights to and from the UK
6 April 2017: Neil Sorahan, CFO, issues a Brexit ultimatum – continue open skies or see NO EU flights from March 2019
16 February 2017: O’Leary threatens to CUT all flights to Europe