Ryanair has resigned from the UK Aviation Council, led by Baroness Vere, claiming the body is just a “useless talking shop” which delivers no benefits, no reform and no change for UK aviation or UK passengers.
The airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary accused the Council of failing to act quickly enough on measures it had proposed six months ago.
“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,” said.
The UK Aviation Council held its first meeting in February 2023, when Ryanair says it called for several measures, including improvements to NATS staffing to reduce ATC delays, increased border control staffing and for the UK Government to push for effective air space reform in Europe.
The second meeting in April was postponed by Baroness Vere at short notice and the third meeting took place yesterday (Tuesday), after which Ryanair announced its resignation.
At the meeting, Baroness Vere proposed a working group comprised of the Department of Transport and CAA be set up to promote UK airspace “modernisation”.
But Ryanair said this won’t even report until April 2024, and said the Department of Transport has failed to provide any funding to deliver this reform.
O’Leary said: “We joined the UK Aviation Council in Feb 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, Government bureaucrats and the CAA to waffle on about reform while delivering none.”
A Government Spokesperson said: “Ryanair’s decision is disappointing. The Aviation Council was set up to bring the industry and Government together to address shared challenges facing the sector and ensure the UK aviation sector remains one of the strongest and successful in the world.”