Ryanair CEO threatens grounding planes in effort to reverse Brexit

Published:  9 Mar at 6 PM
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Controversial Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is threatening to ground all his planes after Brexit kicks in to force the UK to think again about leaving the EU.

Committed Remain supporter O’Leary made the announcement last Tuesday, saying he’s considering the move in order to show referendum voters they’ve been lied to as regards the effects of Brexit on their lives. Brexit, he believes, will mark the end of inexpensive holidays to continental sea, sun and sand destinations along the Mediterranean coast.

Given the fact that Brexit is certain to damage his business economically, he’s still making a valid point as regards the cost and regulatory changes to pan-European flights as well as the costs of tourist visas. O’Leary used his announcement to slam the Brexit campaign, saying voters were promised leaving the EU wouldn’t change anything for British citizens or expats, adding it’s now apparent that almost everything will change. He said he’s using his company and its post-Brexit position as an illustration of the real, across-the-board effects of Britain’s leaving the EU.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr agrees, saying using the industry to indicate to the UK exactly how damaging Brexit will be is a good thing. However, EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren is determined to work against the two airlines, stating his planes would keep flying irrespective of any action by the two rival carriers. The MP for Wellingborough told the media grounding flights would persuade Leave voters to change their mind is ‘pure fantasy’, adding he doesn’t know any other CEOs who’d cause deliberate damage to their businesses in order to make a political statement.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is confident flights won’t be affected after Brexit as it’s in no-one’s interest to shut down the open aviation market, but UK expats in Europe are already expecting problems with flights and visas, and may well side with O’Leary on his threat.
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