Tag Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair responds to Lufthansa’s claims about Laudamotion

Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Ryanair on July 13 confirmed that Lufthansa Group is making false claims about Laudamotion.

Lufthansa’s claim that it has “fully complied with all requirements of the European Commission regarding the required transfer of aircraft to Laudamotion” is simply untrue. Lufthansa agreed to transfer 11 aircraft to Laudamotion, yet as of July 13, Lufthansa has only delivered 9 aircraft.

1. One of the aircraft, which was supposed to be delivered “at the beginning” of June, has now been delayed until at least the end of August, which means Laudamotion has lost the benefit of this aircraft (and its slots) during the peak summer months.

2. Not alone has Lufthansa failed to honor its obligations to lease the 11 aircraft, but the lease costs of the aircraft it has leased to Laudamotion are substantially higher than market rates for Airbus A320’s of this age.

3. Laudamotion has repeatedly honored both its aircraft lease payments and maintenance reserves to Lufthansa. Lufthansa’s claims of “repeated failure” to pay is false.

4. Lufthansa has used every tactic in the book to harm and damage Laudamotion including withdrawing flying business from Laudamotion (which Lufthansa had originally agreed) then refusing to pay over €1.5m of lease payments properly due to Laudamotion for flying carried out on behalf of Lufthansa in March, April and May.

Despite Lufthansa owing Laudamotion over €1.5m in overdue lease payments for the months of March, April and May, Lufthansa has attempted to terminate all 9 aircraft leases on unfounded legal grounds, even though lease rentals for the full month of July had already been paid at the end of June.

Ryanair’s Juliusz Komorek said:

“Lufthansa is abusing its dominant position in the German and Austrian markets in a blatant attempt to eliminate a much smaller, Austrian competitor, Laudamotion. Lufthansa’s attempt to terminate Laudamotion’s 9 aircraft leases during the peak of the summer period, at a time which would cause maximum damage to Laudamotion and its customers, is in breach of its obligations to the EU.

Lufthansa dominates the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets and the fact that it is now abusing this position to try to remove Laudamotion’s aircraft fleet, while refusing to pay Laudamotion lease payments that are months overdue, is in flagrant breach of fair procedure and competition rules. It is Lufthansa who has repeatedly failed to pay Laudamotion over €1.5m of lease payments for March, April and May.”

Top Copyright Photo: Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Laudamotion aircraft slide show:

Laudamotion’s routes from Dusseldorf and Berlin this coming winter:

 

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Lufthansa Group refutes false allegations by Ryanair

Lufthansa Group has issued this statement:

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair issued a press release on its planned takeover of Laudamotion. The Ryanair allegations are completely unfounded.

Lufthansa has fully complied with all EU Commission obligations regarding the required transfer of aircraft to Laudamotion. This is true of both the number of aircraft involved and their leasing terms.

All the aircraft covered by the EU derogation decision were offered for sale to Laudamotion by Lufthansa. Laudamotion rejected this offer, preferring to lease the aircraft instead.

Laudamotion has recently failed – repeatedly – to meet its contractually-agreed lease payment obligations.

As the Eurowings Group needs aircraft, Lufthansa has exercised its contractually-agreed right of termination because of a violation of contractual terms by Laudamotion, and has terminated the lease agreements on nine aircraft due to the non-payment of the lease amounts involved.

Ryanair welcomes EU approval of its Laudamotion proposal

Ryanair on July 12, 2018welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Austrian airline, Laudamotion (Ryanair currently owns 24.9%). Ryanair has entered into partnership with Niki Lauda to offer competition, lower fares, and more choice for consumers in Austria, Germany, and Spain, which is where the majority of Laudamotion services currently take place.

However, Laudamotion is currently under threat by Lufthansa who are attempting to remove the 9 aircraft Lufthansa was obliged by the European Commission to provide to Laudamotion in order to allow Laudamotion to restart services.

This is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen:

– Lufthansa fail to deliver 2 of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.

– Some of the aircraft that Lufthansa had committed to deliver being delayed until after the summer 2018 season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to take up slots and offer S2018 flights and services.

– Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair.

– Lufthansa Group delay payment of over €1.5m of wet lease payments properly due to Laudamotion, for flights which Laudamotion operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May.

Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition and choice to Austrian, German and Spanish markets through this investment in Laudamotion and called on the competition authorities to halt Lufthansa’s repeated abuses of its dominant position, which are designed to harm competition and consumers.

Ryanair’s Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Juliusz Komorek said:

“We welcome the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Laudamotion. Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition, choice and low fares to the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through our investment in Laudamotion. We urge the EU competition authorities to take action and prevent any further attempts by Lufthansa to damage competition through its anti-consumer behaviour.”

Ryanair cancels 30 Irish flights due to a strike by some of its pilots

Ryanair take delivery of its 450th Boeing 737-800

Ryanair today, July 12, 2018, was forced to cancel 30 of its 290 Irish flights due to a strike by its pilots.

The airline issued this statement:

We regret to advise some Irish customers of a strike by just 94 (27%) of our 350+ Irish pilots on Thursday,  July 12, 2018.

We have tried to avert this disruption, which is unnecessary given Ryanair pilots’ and their union FORSA has received written proposals on seniority, annual leave and base transfers, which are what FORSA claims are the reasons for this strike, yet FORSA has rejected 21 separate invitations to meet Ryanair to negotiate these documents.

Ryanair pilots have already secured a 20% pay increase, earn up to €200,000 p.a., work 5 days-on, followed by 4 days-off (a double bank holiday weekend at the end of every week), enjoy rapid promotions and unmatched job security. In a final effort to avert this strike, we have agreed to meet our pilots and FORSA at a neutral venue kindly provided by Dublin Airport, but we believe this small group of pilots and FORSA are determined to disrupt the travel of Irish customers on July 12.

We cannot rule out further disruptions in July and August, especially when some Aer Lingus pilots wrote officially to the DAA on June 25 – some 10 days before the results of the Ryanair pilot ballot were known – to advise that they were “contemplating a series of 1 and 2 days strikes in July and August”. It is unacceptable that competitor airline pilots are actively organising strikes by Ryanair’s pilots when these airlines will be the direct beneficiaries of any such disruption.

Ryanair has for 30 years pioneered low fare air travel, both in Ireland and Europe. In December 2017, we agreed to recognise unions for our pilots and cabin crew, and we have already signed recognition agreements with UK and Italian pilot and cabin crew unions, which shows how serious we are about dealing with unions. We have not made similar progress in Ireland (or Germany), where we see competitor airline pilots actively interfering by promoting strikes and flight disruptions during the peak period of July and August. These coordinated strike threats are designed to cause unnecessary disruption to customers and damage Ryanair’s low fare model, for the benefit of high fare competitor airlines in Ireland and Germany.

1. Despite offering to meet our pilots and the FORSA union at a neutral venue on Wed at 10am, the union has confirmed again today that they expect Thursdays strike by 27% of our Irish pilots to go ahead. We regrettably must plan for some disruptions on Thurs, and try to minimise their impact, especially upon Irish customers and their families travelling on holidays to Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. We will do this by cancelling a number of flights on high frequency routes from Ireland to London and other UK Province destinations where customers can transfer readily to other flights on Thurs or switch their travel to earlier flights tomorrow (Wed) or later on Fri, Sat or subsequent days.

2. We have this morning planned to cancel up to 30 of our 290 flights to and from Irish airports on Thurs 12th. All customers on these flights have received text and email notification of these cancellations earlier today and our Customer Service teams are assisting them with refunds, free transfers to alternative flights on Thurs, or Wed, Fri and Sat. For customers travelling to the UK we will also be assisting them with alternative transport on comparable operators (both flights & ferries) where there is some limited space available.

3. Customers who are travelling on a Ryanair flight to/from Ireland on Thursday, July 12 and who have not already received an email or text notification, then we expect their flight to operate and they should check in as normal at their departure airport on Thursday July 12.

4. We apologise to our Irish customers for these regrettable disruptions which we have done our utmost to avoid.

In addition, the company made this announcement on social media:

ATC Update – French, German, Spanish and UK ATC staff shortages have caused delays to 91 (21%) of our 436 first wave of flight departures this morning. We sincerely regret these unjustified delays and are doing our utmost to limit their impact on flights throughout the rest of today. Customers on impacted flights have been notified by SMS text and email.

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FZF (msn 44779) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 937323.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

Video:

Ryanair: Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes are destroying air traffic and economies across Europe

Promoting the island of Lanzarote

Ryanair has made this dire statement about the on-going ATC strikes in Europe:

An alarming increase in Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes across Europe has wreaked havoc on airlines, their passengers and business. 2018 is shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for ATC strikes in Europe. Year-to-date, A4E member airlines have been forced to cancel nearly 5,000 flights as a result of the strikes, directly impacting around 784,000 passengers across Europe. In addition, millions of travellers have been affected by flight delays caused by airspace diversions and residual backups.

According to Eurocontrol, 39,000 flights – around 30 per cent of the total en-route delays in May- were delayed due to ATC strikes.  In addition, Eurocontrol projects total delay minutes for 2018 will be up by 53 per cent compared to 2017 as a result of strikes and capacity shortages (14.3 million in 2018 versus 9.3 million minutes in 2017).

ATC strikes have a costly impact on customers, European economies and the environment. They breach the principle of allowing people and goods to move freely across Europe, because:

 

  1. Customers’ journeys and supply chains are severely disrupted.
  2. Diversions to avoid closed air space result in much longer flights and burn more fuel, resulting in higher CO2 emissions.
  3. Tourism is most affected due to cancelled flights to prime holiday destinations, putting small and medium size businesses at risk.
  4. Airlines have to pay passengers compensation for the delays and rebook them on other flights, significantly disrupting customers’ travel plans and the airlines’ operations. Airlines don’t have the right to recover these costs from the ATC providers who have caused them.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that the economic cost of ATC strikes in the EU between 2010-2017 was €13.4 billion*. Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 air traffic control strikes in the EU, 254 of which have occurred in France (*).

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “IAG and Ryanair are planning to submit a complaint to the European Commission as ATC strikes represent the biggest challenge for our industry. They are destroying European air traffic and having a huge impact on consumers. It’s a really frustrating cause of disruption that affects all airlines but in particular has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy. Continuous strikes by ATC staff in Marseille have a disproportionate impact on those airlines flying from Barcelona because they control flights over most of the Mediterranean airspace. For Vueling this means that 50 per cent of its flights are affected. The EU must act now to protect the rights of the consumers and prevent long term damage to European economies”.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on the Governments, and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.

“Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff. The situation is particularly acute at weekends where British and German ATC providers are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough ATC staff to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate.

“Urgent action must now be taken by the UK and German Governments, and the EU Commission, otherwise thousands more flights and millions of passengers will be disrupted, particularly in the peak months of July and August, unless this ATC staffing crisis is addressed”.

In response to the continued ATC strike disruptions, A4E has proposed a mandatory 72-hour individual notification period for employees wishing to strike, protection of overflights while ensuring it does not come to the detriment of local services, and a guarantee on minimum services to be provided.

IAG and Ryanair’s complaint will argue that by not adequately protecting flights over France, EU law is infringed.

“We have been working constructively and quite intensively over the last several months with French government officials and Parliamentarians to establish a stable and long-term solution to these disruptions. In this context, we urge the French government to take decisive action to resolve this issue on behalf of all our passengers, ahead of this summer’s busy travel season”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, A4E.

Consumers can also demand swifter action by EU politicians by signing A4E’s online petition:  www.keepeuropesskiesopen.com. The petition will be presented to the relevant authorities in Brussels and EU capitals by the end of 2018.

Link to PriceWaterhouseCoopers Study on the Economic Impact of ATC Strikes in the EU: https://a4e.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/A4E-Economic-Impact-ATC-Strikes-Final-Report_160929-vf.pdf

Link to commission des finances du Sénat’s report.

ATC Update for today:

ATC Update – German ATC staff shortages have caused delays to 48 (11%) of our 435 first wave of flight departures this morning. Thunderstorms have also caused delays in Portugal. We sincerely regret these delays and are doing our utmost to limit their impact on flights throughout the rest of today. Customers on impacted flights have been notified by SMS text and email.

Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIT (msn 44703) (Lanzarote – A Unique Island) LIS (Ton Jochems). Image: 940738.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

 

Ryanair to open a new Southend base in the summer of 2019

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIM (msn 61576) BUD (Tony Storck). Image: 940737.

Ryanair on June 13 announced it will open a new base at London Southend Airport, from April 2019, with three based Boeing 737-800 aircraft and 13 new routes to 8 countries, including Alicante (5 weekly), Barcelona Reus (twice-weekly), Bilbao (4 weekly), Brest (twice-weekly), Corfu (twice-weekly), Cluj (3 weekly), Dublin (twice-daily), Faro (5 weekly), Kosice (3 weekly), Malaga (5 weekly), Milan Bergamo (4 weekly), Palma de Mallorca (4 weekly) and Venice (4 weekly), which will deliver 1 million guests annually at London Southend Airport.

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FIM (msn 61576) BUD (Tony Storck). Image: 940737.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

 

 

Ryanair, ANPAC and ANPAV sign first recognition agreement for Italian Based Cabin Crew

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EBY (msn 35006) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 940736.

Ryanair on June 6 confirmed that it has signed its first cabin crew union recognition agreement with ANPAC and ANPAV, who will be the representative body for Ryanair directly employed cabin crew in Italy. This agreement follows extensive negotiations with ANPAC and ANPAV since Ryanair’s December 2017 announcement that it was willing to recognise Unions for collective bargaining purposes.

Ryanair welcomed the constructive engagement of ANPAC and ANPAV which led to the signing of this first cabin crew recognition agreement, in Italy, which currently accounts for over 80 of Ryanair’s 400+ aircraft fleet and approx. 20% of Ryanair’s cabin crew. Ryanair looks forward to working with ANPAC and ANPAV and its newly elected Ryanair (Cabin Crew) Company Council to conclude an early CLA for our directly employed cabin crew based in Italy.

Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said:

“We are pleased to announce this recognition agreement with ANPAC and ANPAV on behalf of our directly employed cabin crew in Italy. This is our first cabin crew union recognition agreement (which follows recognition agreements with pilot unions in the UK and Italy earlier this year) and further demonstrates Ryanair’s progress on  recognising and negotiating with unions across Europe for our people. We are making good progress with other cabin crew unions across Europe and we hope to sign more recognition agreements with both pilot and cabin crew unions in the coming weeks.”

Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EBY (msn 35006) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 940736.

Ryanair aircraft slide show: