Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Ryanair boss warns of an end to air services in Europe as a result of Bexit

The aggressive chief executive of the low-fare-high-fee carrier Ryanair, Michael O’Leary has again warned that flights between Europe and the UK will be halted for many days because of Brexit.

The airline boss, trying desperately to deflect media attention away from yet another strike by disgruntled employees, this time taking place in Germany today, stoked up media attention by repeating his dire Bexit warnings.

O'Leary claims he's had been no assurances on the issues of flights being allowed to continue, despite conversation to the contrary with officials from both the UK and European side. “Flights to and from Europe will be stopped in a hard deal Brexit,” the boisterous boss who favours the 'bullying' style of management said at a press conference in London on Wednesday. He said he believed the grounded flights scenario would not last more than “a couple of days or a couple of weeks”.

Although softening his stance, he uttered “I do think it’s possible that there will be an agreement on flights between the UK and the European 27, I’m just not sure that that will be reached in time for the first of April next year if there’s a hard Brexit,”

Pilots and cabin crew in Germany have staged a walkout today in their continuing battle with the airline over pay and conditions which has disrupted numerous flights. The Ryanair boss has also threatened German staff that aircratf and jobs would go if strikes continued. A similar stance was taken with staff based at Dublin airport, however, the airline backtracked on those plans last week.  “We will not roll over every time we’re threatened with strikes,” O'Leary said. “We do not want strikes but we are willing to accept strikes, put up with them if it means defending our cost base.” 

“As long as Ryanair does not make improved offers, there may have to be further strikes here,” Ingolf Schumacher, from Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) the German pilots union said, according to news agency Reuters.  

Verdi, the German services union is requesting a pay rise for its members who work as cabin crew for Ryanair, it is also wanting local contracts for them, rather than Irish contracts Ryanair air demand staff sign. Ryanair management had offered to introduce local contracts from mid to late 2022, however, this isn't considered good enough by the union.

Staff in a number of other European countries are due to announce if they will take further industrial action tomorrow.