Ryanair's Michael O’Leary threatens to ground planes to force Brexit 'rethink'

RYANAIR: Chief executive Michael O'Leary RYANAIR: Chief executive Michael O'Leary Ryanair

RYANAIR'S chief executive Michael O’Leary is threatening to ground planes after the UK leaves the European Union to persuade British voters to 'rethink' Brexit.

Speaking in Brussels, O'Leary told an audience of airline industry leaders, “I think it’s in our interests – not for a long period of time – that the aircraft are grounded.

But easyJet's chief executive, Johan Lundgren, has told O’Leary, “If you start grounding your planes, I’m flying.”

The Ryanair boss has repeatedly warned that airlines will be forced to cancel post-Brexit services from March 2019 if no agreement is reached in the negotiations by September because schedules are planned around six months in advance.

He said, “When you begin to realise that you’re no longer going to have cheap holidays in Portugal or Spain or Italy, you’ve got to drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland as your only holiday options, maybe we’ll begin to rethink the whole Brexit debate.

“You were promised you could leave the EU and everything would stay the same. The reality is you can leave the EU, yes that’s your choice, but everything will fundamentally change.”

“They were misled and I think we have to create an opportunity.”

“It’s only when you get to that stage where you’re going to persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said that he is confident flights will not be grounded because “it’s in the interests of everyone” to maintain the open market for aviation.

Karl Smallman

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