Sign up to newsletter

Magazine subscription

O’Leary threatens to ground Ryanair after Brexit

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said he would ground its aircraft after the UK leaves the EU to make voters “rethink” their Brexit decision.

Speaking at the Airlines for Europe (A4E) Summit in Brussels, O’Leary told his fellow airline leaders that he wants to make people realise they are “no longer going to have cheap holidays”, according to multiple newspapers reporting on the event.

He continued: “I think it’s in our interests – not for a long period of time – that the aircraft are grounded. It’s only when you get to that stage where you’re going to persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate.”

He said the British public was “promised” that nothing would change if the country left the EU, but warned that there will be ‘fundamental’ changes and there would be a “real crisis” due to disruption to flights between the UK and EU.

New Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren joked that his airline would pick up the slack if Ryanair grounded its aircraft, but Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr agreed that the industry could use its power to “prove to the British how wrong the decision was”.

O’Leary has repeatedly warned that flights would have to be cancelled after March 2019 unless the UK government reaches an agreement with the EU during Brexit negotiations, and he says such a deal has to be made by September this year so airlines can plan their summer 2019 schedules.

The Irish airline announced in January that a new subsidiary had applied for a UK Air Operators’ Certificate in order to continue operating within the country after Brexit.

Last week, prime minister Theresa May said the UK would be willing to continue paying for membership of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after leaving the union, while transport secretary Chris Grayling has said on numerous occasions that aviation will remain a critical part of the UK economy after Brexit.

Comments

He's spot on. The Brexiteers where blatantly lied to.

Billiuos's picture
Billiuos (not verified)

I believe Mr O'Learys statement can be interpreted as 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'.

As a Ryanair shareholder I would suggest he keeps his nose out of politics and concentrate on his job of maximising returns on investment for the airline, rather than damaging the brand with bizarre comments.

Perhaps it's time he spent more time with his horses, see you at Cheltenham next week Michael!

Ian D's picture
Ian D (not verified)

The mans an idiot

Alexajo29's picture
Alexajo29 (not verified)

Having achieved much success, like a thoughrbred race horse past it's day, it's time for Michael to go out to grass.

ian Hamer's picture
ian Hamer (not verified)

Plenty of other airlines will be happy to fill the gap!

Always thought O'Leary was an intelligent man.

He should take the advice given above and keep his nose out of UK business/politics and go play with his horses!

Brexiteer's picture
Brexiteer (not verified)

Add new comment