Boss O’Leary

RYANAIR boss Michael O’Leary has told the European Parliament there will be no flights between the UK and the EU for months after Brexit unless replacements for EU airline agreements are struck.

He warned that Heathrow will be deserted, summer holidays cancelled and Ryanair aircraft moved to Europe.

The current Open Skies agreement allows EU airlines, including those registered in the UK, to operate in each other’s countries.

As aviation cannot fall back on World Trade Organisation rules, sealing a new deal is seen as vital by the CEO of Europe’s largest airline.

But O’Leary warned yesterday that such a deal was ‘an impossibility’ and that the ‘only sensible option’ was for the British government to ignore the Brexit referendum result.

He told the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee in Brussels: “There is a real prospect, and we need to deal with this, that there are going to be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of weeks, months beyond March 2019.

“There is not going to be an interim agreement, there is not going to be a legal basis, we will be cancelling flights, we will be cancelling people’s holidays for summer of 2019.”

March 2019 is the deadline for Britain to exit the EU. If a Brexit deal is not finalised in time, Britain will leave without an agreement, known as Hard Brexit.

Ryanair made €1.70 billion in added extrasThe European Commission, which is handling the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, has refused to discuss anything until a settlement on citizens’ rights and the Brexit bill is reached. The second round of talks will be held in Brussels next week.

O’Leary argued that a clear legal framework was needed by September 2018.

Speaking at the same session, Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group said the EU and UK should sign comprehensive air transport agreements.

“With policy support it ought to be relatively straightforward to agree a deal on aviation that will be ready when the UK leaves the EU,” he said.

But Mr O’Leary retorted: “I think that’s an impossibility because there is no goodwill in Europe towards Britain.

“The French and the Germans, when they have the opportunity to stick one into the British, they like nothing better.”

“This is going to be a real mess,” Mr O’Leary added, “Brexit will be one of the great economic suicide notes in history.

“By September 2018 when your average British voter is sitting down to work out where he is going on his holidays in 2019, the two options he will have are to drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland,” he told MEPs.

“The sensible outcome here is to ignore the plebiscite of 12 months ago, stay in Europe and continue to benefit from Open Skies.

“We’ll be taking a lot of aircraft out of the UK in the April of 2019 and reallocating them to European regional airports and they’ll be seeing a lot more growth than they’ll know how to handle.

“Although Heathrow, thankfully, will be empty probably for a period of months.”


Subscribe to the Olive Press


  1. I’m almost speechless at these stupid remarks, only almost. Does O’leary really think that Spain for instance is going to turn it’s back on 17 million UK tourists. I bet a double quick deal will be done on this issue. He also needs to remember Ryanair is not the only budget airline on the block.

    • But the EU Commission have already made it clear an early aviation deal will not happen so in some cases O’Leary is right and in the case of Spain, they certainly would turn their backs on us because they make just as much tourism money from northern continental European tourists particularly those from France and Germany. The Spanish have made it clear they prefer them to us because of our bad reputation for extreme drunken behaviour and football hooliganism.

    • Unfortunately the EU Commission have already made clear that an aviation deal will not happen unless we change our stance on the rights of EU citizens living in Britain and that we agree to cough up a massive bill as part of a withdrawal settlement, so Im afraid O’leary is right

    • He sells cheap tickets. So he is also responsible for many incidents with cheap people in tourism. In a way. Because all he does is sell cheap tickets. When he cannot in Heathrow, but he can elsewhere, it does make sense what he stated.
      The British voted for Brexit. Do not forget that. Every choice you make in life has consequences.
      You listened too much to others, UKIPS and Johnsons, so why worry? When they were right, after Brexit you won’t need Ryan Air, you can afford First Class! Sure you can! You can all buy your own Comet jet plane. You will not need this man anyway.

  2. I have to agree with Peter. Does this arrogant Irish twat really believe that the European countries and not only Spain, will turn their backs on the tourist industry. What do Switzerland do about flights to European destinations?, what to the Scandinavian countries do?. He is just scare mongering, and in his usual; despotic way, threatens. remember the standing only space on his aircraft? Remember charging to use the loo. The mans cracked (but I do agree wealthily cracked).

    • I don`t think you have to worry about this man, if he won`t fly, someone else will. Norway is not part of the EU, and we have flights as low as €30 from Norway to Spain. Both with Norwegian and SAS, both airline with more confortable seats as Ryanair.

  3. Michael O’Leary is a businessman & a very successful one at that. Unlike most airlines he makes record profits by offering what the majority of passengers want i.e. inexpensive travel. The passengers get to ride in modern aircraft & experience few delays. Many people love to hate him & his airline but if you care to check, all that happens, is Ryanair get even more passengers. O’Leary speaks his mind & holds back no punches. That’s why he’s successful & when he’s listened to & his warnings taken into account & acted on accordingly, both his airline & the others that offer services to Europe, will continue to succeed. If not, then inexpensive travel to the EU from the UK after Brexit will cease to exist.

  4. Just read easyjet have paid £10m to register company in Austria to make sure they keep flying! Not cheap but least they will be able to pass on the costs to us, so another brexit victory! Yep we going to be rolling in it! not sure what

  5. “There is not going to be an interim agreement, there is not going to be a legal basis, we will be cancelling flights, we will be cancelling people’s holidays for summer of 2019.”

    GOOD! I REALLY hope O’Leary is right because the EU member states are no longer safe holiday hotspots but are now instead simply breeding grounds for terrorists making them MUCH MUCH too dangerous for us to travel to.

    Brexit will give us much better opportunities to travel to the USA and other non-EU countries, even those who have virtually blocked our aviation trade access due to our membership with the EU.

    Just imagine inexpensive holidays to Europe being replaced by inexpensive holidays to the likes of the USA, Canada, the Carribbean, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Central & South America etc etc. Now THAT would be my idea of absolute HEAVEN! Who in the hell needs Europe when we’ll have more opportunities to visit these safer, MUCH MORE beautiful countries.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.