Ryanair The Ghostbusters Encourages European Commission to Release Unused Slots

A Ryanair Boeing 737 climbing steeply after takeoff.
Alan Wilson CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Ryanair believes it has solved the Lufthansa ‘Ghost Flight’ problem by putting pressure on the European Commission to release the unused slots.

As mentioned in its press release, Ryanair believes the solution is simple:

“The solution is simple, Lufthansa should sell the seats on these flights at low fares, and reward EU consumers many of whom have funded the €12bn of State Aid that Lufthansa and their subsidiaries in Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland have already received from hard-pressed taxpayers over the last 2 years of the Covid crisis.”

Expanding on this was the Ryanair Group CEO, Michael O’Leary:

Wo st 01 / Wikimedia Commons

“The solution to Lufthansa’s “ghost flights” problem is a simple one – just sell these seats to consumers. If Lufthansa really needs to operate these flights (solely to prevent the release of these slots to competitor airlines), then they should be required to sell these seats to the public at low fares.”

“The German and EU public have already bailed out Lufthansa with billions of State Aid to Lufthansa and their subsidiaries, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Austrian, and instead of operating empty flights just so they can block slots, Lufthansa should release the seats on these flights for sale at low fares to reward the German and European taxpayers who have subsidized it with €billions during the Covid crisis.

“Lufthansa loves crying crocodile tears about the environment when doing everything possible to protect its slots. Slots are the way it blocks competition and limits choice at big hub airports like Frankfurt, Brussels Zaventem, Vienna, among others.”

“If Lufthansa doesn’t want to operate “ghost flights” to protect its slots, then simply sell these seats at low fares, and help accelerate the recovery of short and long haul air travel to and from Europe.”

In the meantime, Ryanair again calls on the European Commission to force Lufthansa and other State subsidized airlines to release slots that they do not wish to use, so that low-fare GHOSTBUSTERS like Ryanair, among others, can offer choice, competition, and lower fares at these hub airports.”

“The EU should ignore Lufthansa’s disingenuous claims about “ghost flights” when the solution is simple – sell the seats on these flights and then they will no longer need to be ‘afraid of no ghost’ flights”.

Such statements have come out due to Lufthansa complaining about “ghost flights”, not due to the environmental disadvantages, but so then it can save its slots.

It will be interesting of course how this is all going to play out, with all eyes on the European Commission to see whether the slots will be released or not.

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