Money Euro rivals will 'screw over' UK airlines - O'Leary

17:10  12 july  2017
17:10  12 july  2017 Source:   independent.ie

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Ryanair CEO Michael O ' Leary believes UK airlines face hardship post Brexit. Mr O ' Leary said UK carriers may no longer fly between EU destinations. Charlotte Crosby APOLOGISES to Ferne McCann for causing tension with Billie Faiers and Greg Shepherd over rival reality shows.

The collapse of airlines gives rivals a chance to snap up planes, prized airport slots and much-needed pilots. Still, Ryanair CEO Michael O ’ Leary predicts there will only be only four or five airline groups in Europe in five years - Ryanair, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, IAG, and possibly easyJet (EZJ.L).

Michael O'Leary © Provided by Irish Independent Michael O'Leary

French and German airlines will seek to "screw over" UK airline carriers in the wake of Brexit, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has claimed.

The businessman described Brexit as "one of the great economic suicide notes in history", and predicted Lufthansa and Air France would see it as "a competitive opportunity".

He added that once flight cancellations started to hit British holidaymakers, there would be uproar.

"By September 2018, when your average British voter is sitting down to work out where he's going on holidays in the summer of 2019, the two options he will have will be: drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland," Mr O'Leary told MEPs in Brussels yesterday.

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Passengers are being advised to check with their airlines before travelling. Mr Walsh and Ryanair chief executive Michael O ' Leary were both speaking in Brussels after a Airbus warns it could exit UK . The European planemaker says no-deal Brexit would force it to reconsider its investments in the UK .

switch to the UK edition. One of his main rivals and fellow Irish aviation chief, Willie Walsh, seems to think so. The CEO of International Airlines Group, the conglomerate that owns British Airways , said he believes O ’ Leary and Ryanair will bounce back from the disaster.

"It will be a couple of months before British people understand that they don't all want to go on holidays in Ireland or in Scotland, and I think the British government will be forced to come to its senses."

In fact, he believes that the UK would consider reversing its stance on Brexit once holidaymakers were faced with the prospect of spending the summer in Ireland or Scotland.

"We should be optimistic. The British, I believe, will change their minds [about Brexit], because it's going to be very bad for them over the next six to eight months," Mr O'Leary said.

He said Ryanair was already reallocating aircraft from Britain to European regional airports to ensure unfettered access to EU and transatlantic routes under an EU-US "open skies" deal.

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EasyJet is the UK 's largest low-cost carrier and Ryanair's main rival for dominance over British skies. O ' Leary 's comment stem from the potential regulatory limitations UK airlines such as Easyjet and British Airways will face if Britain makes a complete break from the EU.

One hundred planes will be assigned to airline 's Euro subsidiary, but no jobs will be lost at current Luton airport base. Earlier this week, the chief executive of easyJet’s big rival , Ryanair, slammed the UK Michael O ’ Leary said “I think Brexit is going to be one of the greatest suicide notes in history.

"The UK is going to have to find a way, within the next 12 months, to get back into 'open skies' or to have a bilateral with the EU27, and I think that's an impossibility," Mr O'Leary told a European parliamentary committee on the impact of Brexit on aviation.

"There's no goodwill in Europe towards Britain. The French and the Germans, whenever they can get the opportunity to stick one to the British, like nothing better."

Mr O'Leary said Brexit was a "shambles" and the UK government "haven't a bull's notion what they're doing" in the negotiations, recalling a senior Brexit minister telling him that an open skies deal with Pakistan could make up for the loss of access to European airspace.

"A lot of Pakistanis would like to travel to the UK; I'm not quite sure all of those Brits that like to holiday in Spain, Portugal or Greece fancy Karachi for their summer holidays," he quipped.

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Earlier this month, Walsh warned that air traffic control strikes were more of a threat to European airlines in 2018 than a rise in fuel prices. Michael O ’ Leary , Ryanair’s chief executive

EasyJet is the UK 's largest low-cost carrier and Ryanair's main rival for dominance over British skies. O ' Leary 's comment stem from the potential regulatory limitations UK airlines such as Easyjet and British Airways will face if Britain makes a complete break from the EU.

But Willie Walsh, the head of International Airlines Group (IAG) - the holding company for Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia - said he was optimistic that a deal would be done with the UK.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe insisted that Ireland would not be following the UK out of the EU, and said Brexit continued to be a "source of great sadness".

He told a committee of MEPs investigating the Panama Papers tax scandal that Irish people were "proud members of the European Union" and would remain members of the EU "family" after Brexit.

He also responded to comments by French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire that companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook should "pay the taxes they owe in Europe".

"Taxation is a national competence," Mr Donohoe told the Irish Independent. "These companies are very, very significant employers within Ireland, and they deserve to be treated fairly by tax authorities, and that is the case in Ireland."

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