Ryanair has added a new route out of Cork, has quit its membership of an aviation advisory group in the UK and has stated that it will not follow rival EasyJet in cancelling swathes of flights due to disruptive air traffic controller (ATC) strikes across Europe this summer.
Ryanair’s new Cork-Paris (Beauvais) route will take off on October 29 and will fly three-times per week.
According to Tara Finn, head of aviation business development at Cork Airport: “This new service significantly enhances our connectivity with France and provides important access to the enchanting city of Paris. For passengers across Munster and south Leinster, Ryanair will offer the best connectivity with Paris from the south of Ireland.”
Ryanair has also confirmed that it will not be cancelling flights due to disruptive air traffic controller (ATC) strikes in mainland Europe, this summer.
It told the Daily Telegraph that it has prepared for ATC disruption by growing staff numbers and has no plans to change summer schedules, with a full schedule of daily flights set to continue.
“We do not expect to make any schedule adjustments as we are fully staffed for our summer 2023 schedules,” the airline told the newspaper.
Its comments come days after UK rival EasyJet announced the cancellation of 1,700 summer flights – mainly from London’s Gatwick Airport – due to potential ATC strike disruption. That comprises 2% of EasyJet’s summer schedule and will affect around 180,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has withdrawn its membership of the UK Aviation Council – the British government’s industry group which was established to advise on UK aviation strategy.
Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary said the Council has proven – since its inception in February – only to be a “talking shop” and delivers “no benefits, no reform and no change for UK aviation or UK passengers”.
Mr O’Leary said: “We joined the UK Aviation Council in February, when Transport Minister Mark Harper assured us it would be used as a “delivery body” to improve the resilience of UK aviation. Sadly, this has proved to be an empty promise. There has been no action, no delivery, and no improvement in UK aviation, and the Council has become a talking shop for Baroness Vere, Govt bureaucrats and the CAA to waffle on about reform while delivering none.
“Ryanair is the UK’s No. 1 passenger airline, and is investing heavily in new bases (Belfast) and new routes to/from the UK. We expect to grow our traffic in the UK in 2023 by 13% to 56m passengers and all of this growth is being delivered without any support or initiative from the UK Government or its useless Aviation Council. We don’t have time to waste meeting with an ineffective industry Council, which doesn’t/hasn’t deliver any practical change or reform since its first meeting last February.
Mr O’Leary added: “If Baroness Vere wants to deliver change or improve UK aviation, then she should disband this useless Council and work instead with the UK’s major airlines to deliver real and effective change, which will enable us to improve capacity and lower air fares for UK citizens and visitors. Instead, Baroness Vere prefers to waste her time, and ours, holding a quarterly talking shop, at which she promises action, but delivers none. Ryanair has better things to do with our time than waste it on her useless and ineffective Aviation Council, and so we have written today to Baroness Vere to resign from this Council with immediate effect.”