EU commission called to stop ATC strikes

Ryanair calls on EU commission to stop ATC strikes, as thousands of passengers will potentially be affected by French ATC strikes.

Ryanair today called on the EU Commission to prevent millions of Europe’s citizens having their flights cancelled or delayed, by tiny numbers of French Air Traffic Controllers going on strike again this week.
Ryanair condemned the EU Commission’s continuing failure to act on its repeated call for the removal of the right to strike from Europe’s air traffic controllers, who repeatedly blackmail Europe’s passengers with strikes throughout the summer season. Ryanair pointed out that many of Europe’s police forces and army personnel are not allowed to strike.
Air traffic controllers in the USA are also prevented by law from striking, which means that the skies over the US cannot be closed or hijacked by ATC strikes or work to rule. The European Commission should apply similar no strike rules here in Europe.
Ryanair confirmed that yesterday’s French Air Traffic Control strike caused 134 flights to be cancelled, with a further 450 flights delayed, resulting in 88,000 Ryanair passengers having their flights disrupted on Monday through no fault of theirs or Ryanair.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:
“It is unacceptable that the skies over Europe are repeatedly closed or flights delayed by the unjustified strike action of tiny numbers of air traffic controllers. These public servants are among the most overpaid and protected in Europe and yet they repeatedly opt for the strike weapon as a first, rather than a last resort. The summer schedules in Europe are barely one week old and already the French Air Traffic Controllers are engaged in three days of strikes. The solution to this problem is simple, remove their right to strike in exactly the same way that Air Traffic Controllers in the USA are prevented by law from striking
“The EU Commission should stop talking about taking action and finally do something about these repeated and unacceptable strikes by removing the right to strike from ATC unions”.

Watchdog investigate Ryanair over £10 charges for emergency exit seats

Budget Airline Ryanair are currently being investigated by safety watchdogs after passengers were made to pay an extra £10 charge so they could sit in seats by emergency exits.

The popular seats offer more legroom for travellers, however the seats located next to the emergency exits have been left empty on hundreds of flights after travellers refused to pay the added cost.

Ryanair passengers buying standard seats are told that they can sit anywhere on the plane apart from the first four rows and the emergency exit rows in the centre.

However passengers in standard seats are still expected to be able to follow directions on the emergency procedures.

The Irish Aviation Authority and UK regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), have launched an investigation into the airline. Suggesting that Ryanair should look at its policy as the issue is described as a ‘grey area’.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has also questioned safety issues on board.

One passenger on a Ryanair flight said that he was asked to make sure that he was aware of how to open a door that he was unable to see.

“I wasn’t allowed to sit in the emergency exit row so I sat in the window seat in the row in front. Before take-off, one of the cabin crew spoke to me, and another passenger who was in the aisle seat.

“Basically, she was saying that, since we were the closest to the emergency exit, we’d have to make sure we’d read and understood the instructions for opening the doors in the middle of the plane in an emergency”.

Adding: “She said emergency row seats could only be used by people who had paid extra. It just seemed ludicrous and mean-spirited.

Stephen McNamara, the head of communications at Ryanair said: “We do not believe this to be an issue, as all Ryanair passengers are provided with the same safety and evacuation information.

“We will continue to discuss the matter with the IAA”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh

Ryanair boss plans to double the size of the airline

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has revealed expansion plans that would make the company one of the biggest airlines in the world, introducing routes to Scandinavia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

 

The budget airline chief executive has unveiled ambitious expansion plans that could see the amount of passengers double and stretch its reach across Europe.

 

Mr O’Leary announced in an interview with the Financial Times that he wants to increase passenger numbers from 72 million to between 120 – 130 million within the next decade.

 

The airline is currently in talks with US, Chinese and Russian plane manufacturers over plans to buy over 200 new aircrafts.

 

He wants the delivery of the new aircrafts to happen between 2015 and 2021, insisting they would only be purchased at ‘cheap prices’.

 

Between 2010 and 2011 the Dublin-based airline carried 72.1 million passengers, these plans could see their fleet of around 270 aircrafts double.

 

These new plans would allow the airline to use 50 of the new planes to fly passengers to and from Scandinavian destinations. Another 100 aircrafts would fly to new routes in the Baltic Sates, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

 

Mr O’Leary added that the difficult economic conditions will allow the company to increase its share in the short-haul market as the demand for low-cost travel increases.

 

The outspoken Irish man’s cost cutting suggestions have been at the centre of controversy, where incidents have included: charging to use the toilets on planes, removing a toilet, space for standing passengers and scrapping the co-pilot role.

 

Their most recent announcement was that passengers will soon have to pay for flights using their pre-paid payment method if they want to escape card charges.

 

From November, the only way customers will be able to avoid extra fees will be by using the ‘Ryanair Cash Passport’, costs could mount up to £48 for a family of four buying return flights.

 

By Charlee Greenhalgh

Ryanair plan on having just one toilet per plane

 Ryanair have revealed plans that will leave up to 200 passengers using just one toilet.

 

The plan for just one bathroom per plane will allow six more seats per plane.

 

The plans will take the ‘no frills’ air travel to a new level, but according to Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, the change would lower air travel by around five per cent.

 

The plans are controversial and will leave passengers in long queue or crossing their legs and hoping for the best.

 

Two out of the three toilets will be removed from the planes and replaced with six more seats in order to provide cheaper fares.

 

Ryanair only use one type of plane, the Boeing 737-800, each plane hold 189 seats – at present this is the maximum allowed.

 

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: ‘We all know how inconvenient it can be if a toilet on a plane is out of order. This move could be a step too far.’