Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Ryanair threatens to reduce services in Spain unless fines against it are waived .......

 Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has threatened the Spanish Government with reducing the number of routes and people employed in Spain unless 65 fines issued against them removed.
Expansion newspaper reports that the CEO of the airline, Michael O’Leary, has called on the Ministry for Industry to remove the fines which total 1.23 million €.

In a letter dated last January 24, O’Leary asks the then Minister for Industry, for an urgent meeting ‘to put an end to these unjust fines and guarantee that the regulatory bodies support the multimillion € investments being made in Spanish airports and tourism, instead of putting the growth of Ryanair in danger with unfounded fines’.

O’Leary claims the regulatory bodies do not contact the airline until the fine is issued and describes their action as ‘disproportionate and discriminatory’, claiming they have ‘a vindictive policy’.

Last summer Ryanair overtook Iberia as the largest airline in Spain and ended the year with a 30% growth in passenger numbers at 22.89 million.

Currently Ryanair operates from 44 bases, offers more than 1,500 flights and forecast it will transport 73 million passengers this year, 30 million of them in Spain.

Meanwhile the OCU Consumers Union in Spain has warned the Government that they will take them to court if they give in to the blackmail from Ryanair.

In a press release on Monday, the OCU says they want to express their absolute rejection of the unacceptable request from Ryanair. The OCU say they can only once again lament the nil respect for the law from Ryanair, which repeatedly fails to meet its obligations to travellers.

Fellow consumers’ group FACUA has also described the Ryanair move as ‘blackmail’. It notes the airline carried out 65 infractions in two years, although none of them were safety related. FACUA considers that the blackmail comes ‘as a consequence of the weakness of the Government and the Autonomous Regions in the face of Ryanair’s continuous frauds’.