Michael O’Leary once again said Brexit will plunge Britain’s aviation industry into chaos unless it remains in the so-called EU’s ‘open skies’ agreement.
The Irish businessman told the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee the UK Government does not have a “bulls notion” – Irish slang for not having a clue – how to prevent Britons being left unable to fly into European holiday hotspots.
Mr O’Leary has been a long-term critic of Brexit, claiming the UK will lose its ability to host airlines wanting to fly into mainland Europe.
Speaking in the EU Parliament, he said: “There are communications between us and the UK Government. I am sorry to report, they don’t have a bulls notion what they’re doing.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said flights between UK and Europe would end after Brexit
I’m not sure Brits, who like to holiday in Spain, Portugal and Greece, fancy Karachi for their summer holiday
“They genuinely seem to think there is going to be a red, white and blue Brexit – when you ask them how the hell they are going to get there, they don’t have a clue.
“One of their ministers suggested the way of replacing open skies between the UK and Europe is an open skies agreement with Pakistan.
“There will be a lot of Pakistanis wanting to travel to the UK, but I’m not quite sure those Brits, who like to holiday in Spain, Portugal and Greece fancy Karachi for their summer holidays.”
Mr O’Leary believes Britain’s European divorce will be “catastrophic” for the UK’s £127-billion-a-year tourist industry.
Ryanair is urging the UK and Brussels to come to an interim deal over aviation to avoid huge disruption, which could last months after Brexit is complete in March 2019.
There are concerns that France and Germany want to trigger disruption to UK flights because British and Irish airlines would be disproportionately affected.
Mr O’Leary added: “If there is no deal there will be no flights because there is not a legal mechanism on which the airlines can operate in a hard Brexit, no deal outcome.
“There is no prospect of having higher prices at airports for flights to the UK – there will simply be no flights.
“Either there is open skies or a bilateral agreement, there isn’t one of the other – and, if there isn’t one or the other there will be no flights for a period of weeks or months.”
He concluded Britons will soon “realise they were sold a pup” by Brexiteers, after they cannot fly to European hotspots, and may even change their minds on Brexit.