By Alex Glenn • 12 January 2022 • 13:07
Ryanair slams German airline Lufthansa’s ‘ghost flights’ and ‘crocodile tears’.
Chief executive of Ryanair Michael O’Leary has criticised Lufthansa’s claims that it had to operate “ghost flights” to keep slots protected at European airports under the “use it or lose it” regulations.
Ryanair hopes that the European Commission will release the slots to other airlines. Lufthansa Group recently announced that nearly 20,000 flights over the last year had flown without carrying any passengers. To keep major airport slots airlines need to operate a set percentage of their scheduled flights.
O’Leary believes that the solution is simple and that Lufthansa should have offered customers cheap seats on these flights.
He commented: “If Lufthansa really needs to operate these flights (solely to prevent the release of these slots to competitor airlines), then they should be required to sell these seats to the public at low fares.
“The German and EU public have already bailed out Lufthansa with billions of state aid to Lufthansa and their subsidiaries, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Austrian, and instead of operating empty flights just so they can block slots, Lufthansa should release the seats on these flights for sale at low fares to reward the German and European taxpayers who have subsidised it with billions during the Covid-19 crisis.”
He went on to add: “Lufthansa loves crying crocodile tears about the environment when doing everything possible to protect its slots.
“Slots are the way it blocks competition and limits choice at big hub airports like Frankfurt, Brussels Zaventem, Vienna, among others.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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