The British public does not want to be luggage handlers, Rainier owner Michael O’Leary said amid a planned strike at Heathrow Airport.
The low-budget airline has been “completely unaffected” by airport chaos this summer, with other British airlines canceling 1,000 flights.
Mr O’Leary said Ryanair was ready for a return to the pre-Kwid level trip as it could see ‘recovery coming’ and take advantage of the European labor market.
And he added that you can’t get British people to do these things because they don’t want to ‘pick fruit or work in hospitality, security and baggage handling at airports’.
His remarks came as 16,000 British Airways employees, including cabin crew and engineers, threatened to plunge airports and airlines into further chaos as they sought to join more than 700 BA employees committed to walk-outs at Heathrow.
The British public does not want to be luggage handlers, said Ryanair owner Michael O’Leary (pictured)
The low-budget airline has been “completely unaffected” by airport chaos this summer, with other British airlines canceling 1,000 flights. Photo: Hundreds of suitcases continue to be mounted at Heathrow Terminal 2
Passengers have had to endure months of check-in delays, flight cancellations and baggage problems at UK airports after seeing queues the next day in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Heathrow.
And many airport experts have pointed to post-Covid recruitment as a linear issue that has led to chaos in the airline industry.
However, according to the Telegraph, Rainier appears to have survived a major setback.
Between May 7 and June 6, the low-cost airline canceled three of its 13,099 flights (0.02%), compared to 142 of 13,010 (1.09%) British Airways flights. Of the 16,425 EasyJet flights, 636 (3.87%) were canceled.
Mr O’Leary told the Telegraph: “I’m not campaigning for Brexit again, but the UK needs to find a way to open up the labor market between the UK and Europe, to bring people in. Things the British people don’t want to do.
‘They don’t want to pick fruits, they don’t want to do agricultural labor, they don’t want hospitality or security or handling bags at airports.’
Those returning to the UK also faced potential obstacles after Ryanair cabin crew members began a three-day walkout yesterday in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Mr O’Leary’s comments came after more than 16,000 British Airways employees, including cabin crew and engineers, threatened to plunge airports and airlines into further chaos. Photo: BA Flight Stock
The biggest impact was felt in Belgium, where Europe’s largest budget airline canceled 127 flights from Charleroi Airport near Brussels between Friday and Sunday after a work stoppage.
Ryanair can only guarantee 30 to 40 percent of its scheduled flights at the airport, a spokesman for Brussels South Charleroi Airport said.
In response, Mr O’Leary said he was “delighted” to have cabin crew with an annual salary of £ 24,000 and £ 45,000 returning to their jobs and “working after Covid.”
He added: ‘Everyone will be able to pay their rent. The notion that people are on the minimum wage or that they don’t get paid when they don’t fly – it’s all rubbish.
“He dismisses the potential disruption as affecting” less than one per cent “of the company’s operations across Europe.
More than 700 Heathrow check-in and ground-handling workers voted in favor of industrial work on the payroll. GMB and the United Union are expected to set a strike date for July 22, when school holidays begin.
London Stansted Airport – Busy London Stansted People lined up to leave the airport in Essex yesterday morning.
GMB National Officer, Nadine Houghton, said:
‘BA has tried to offer pieces to our members as a 10 per cent single bonus payment, but it has not cut the mustard.
“Our members need to be rehabilitated with a 10 per cent full refund stolen from them last year and a 10 per cent bonus paid to other colleagues,” he said.
‘Heathrow’s GMB members have suffered countless abuses in the face of travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures.’
And Unite is looking to add an additional 16,000 BA workers, including engineers from the cabin crew, to the strike.
The BA dispute is over the 10 percent salary cut that check-in and ground-handling staff took during Covid as the airlines tried to stay afloat. The unions want to restore full pay amid the pressures of life and the cost of increasing passenger numbers.
Manchester Airport – Passengers line up for check-in at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2 yesterday as airport chaos continues.
A spokesman for United said, according to Sun, that British Airways management could no longer ignore global dissatisfaction with its own workforce in a way that ignored the needs of its customers.
‘BA customers know first hand that the airline is in chaos and service levels are suffering as a direct result of its own catastrophic‘ fire and rescue ’policies.
‘Employees are no longer willing to make excuses or pay the price for poor management decisions.’
GMB also said it had started consulting ballots with thousands of additional BA workers, including engineers and call center workers.
If enough support is registered, the formal ballot for the strike will begin in a few weeks.
This includes workers at Gatwick Airport and Heathrow, which greatly increases the likelihood of summer disruptions.
GMB and United promised to withdraw the action only if their demands were met within a week. If BA walkouts go ahead, families may be forced to delay or cancel vacations – and be stranded abroad if home flights are disrupted.
Unions only have to report a two-week strike. Customers whose flights are grounded will have the right to re-book or refund the alternate flight on the day of their departure, even if they are with a rival carrier.
But due to staff shortages and airport flight caps, it is unclear whether there will be enough seats after the airlines cut their schedules. This will be a huge economic blow to BA, which has lost billions of pounds in the epidemic.
About 550 BA flights a day take off and land at Heathrow, but this is expected to increase in the summer – and the airline is now making emergency plans to have as many flights as possible on the day of the strike.
Half of these are short-haul and the other half are long-haul – and this action threatens to ground hundreds of flights.
London Heathrow Airport – Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two was very busy yesterday morning when the British tried to go abroad.
Downing Street said the strike would add to passengers’ grief at airports and called on BA to take emergency measures.
Spokesman No. 10 said: ‘This is clearly a matter for British Airways and the unions and we will encourage both to find a solution together.
“We do not want to see any more obstacles for the passengers and the strike action will only add to the pain faced by the passengers at the airports.
‘The DfT (Transport for Department) will work closely to see clearly what contingency measures BA can put in place and we hope that BA will put contingency measures in place to ensure that less obstructions occur, and where passengers can create obstructions. Will be returned ‘.
A BA statement said: “We are very disappointed with the outcome and the unions have chosen to take this step.
‘Despite the extremely challenging environment and the deficit of over £ 4 billion, we offered a 10 per cent payment which was accepted by a majority of other colleagues.
‘We are fully committed to working together to find solutions, as we must work as a team to deliver for our customers and rebuild our business.
“We will definitely keep our customers updated on what this means for them as the situation develops.”
EasyJet’s operations in Spain will face a nine-day strike next month.