European low-cost carrier Ryanair has resigned from a group established by the UK government to shape the country’s future aviation strategy, describing it as a “talking shop” that delivers no action or reform for passengers.
The UK Aviation Council was established by the government as part of its Flightpath to the Future strategic framework for aviation, unveiled last summer. Headed by aviation minister Baroness Vere, its membership includes leading airlines, airports and industry body representatives.
At the council’s kick-off meeting in February, Ryanair put forward what it calls five practical measures to improve UK aviation but has now quit the group following its third meeting, held yesterday, complaining it has ”delivered no action whatsoever over the past six months on any of these achievable goals”.
It complains that at yesterday’s meeting a working group was proposed to promote UK airspace “modernisation”, but that the body would not report until April 2024 and no funding was provided to deliver the reform.
“We joined the UK Aviation Council in February when transport minister Mark Harper assured us it would be used as a ‘delivery body’ to improve the resilience of UK aviation,” says Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.
”Sadly, this has proved to be an empty promise. There has been no action, no delivery, and no improvement in UK aviation, and the council has become a talking shop for Baroness Vere, government bureaucrats and the CAA to waffle on about reform while delivering none.”