Ryanair bashes airports over travel chaos

Ryanair has announced a number of new routes from Belfast International Airport (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Ryanair has announced a number of new routes from Belfast International Airport (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Ryanair waded into the travel chaos fight on Monday, blaming airports for not hiring enough staff as it emerged as the clear post-pandemic winner in the airline trade.

With rivals stumbling and Heathrow mired in turmoil, Ryanair turned a profit of e170 million for the first quarter compared to a loss of e273 million for the same period a year ago.

That was better than expected and far ahead of rivals who are racking up losses and cancelling flights at an equal pace.

Chief financial officer Neil Sorahan put the blame for air travel cancellations on airports. He said: “You have to hold ANSPs [air navigation service providers] and various governments to account in relation to not staffing up appropriately for that. Equally the airports themselves, they had one job to do to and that was to make sure they have sufficient handlers and security staff. They had the schedules months in advance.”

At the weekend, former BA boss Willie Walsh and former Heathrow chairman Sir Nigel Rudd locked horns, with each blaming the other for ruining the summer travel plans of thousands of people.

Rudd says Walsh devalued the BA brand with cost cuts, Walsh says Heathrow’s move to restrict passenger numbers to 100,000 a day is “farcical”.

In contrast, Ryanair has won praise for keeping hold of staff during furlough which has enabled a swifter bounce back than rivals such as Easyjet.

Revenue in the quarter soared 602% to e2.6 billion, a stark illustration of how keen Brits are to get abroad after two years stuck at home with Covid.

The airline warned that new variants of Covid could still derail the recovery. Ryanair said it can’t predict what full year profits

Read the rest