Ryanair backtracks on threat to ground flights to change voters' minds on Brexit

Alexandra Rogers
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Ryanair has said it will not ground flights after the UK leaves the European Union despite suggestions that Michael O'Leary was prepared to take a dramatic stance to change voters' minds.

Speaking to City A.M., chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs confirmed the air carrier would not be grounding flights in April 2019 but warned there was a risk this could happen if negotiations between the UK and the EU fell apart.

"Michael's comments were misreported; we’re not planning any stunts. We want both sides to do a deal and we support the British Government in doing a deal quickly so we know what's happening. Then we can get on with making our contribution to what we think should be the replacement of open skies.

He continued: "In the meantime there is still the risk that aircraft could be grounded if open skies comes to a grinding halt on a specific date because negotiations fall apart and there is then a risk that aircraft can’t fly."

O'Leary said he wanted people to realise there would be "no more cheap holidays" and that grounding aircraft could "persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate".

Jacobs also said consumers should be concerned about the possibility that flying rights between the UK and US could be restricted if no deal was reached on open skies. He said the UK should aim to hash out an aviation deal within the next couple of months.

Read more: Ryanair braced for some Easter and summer disruption

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