Ryanair attacks Lufthansa. By denouncing “crocodile tears”, the Irish company suggested to its German competitor Lufthansa to sell off its seats to reward the European taxpayers who supported it, rather than claiming to fly empty planes in order to keep its slots airport. Ryanair today (Wednesday January 12) called on the European Commission to ignore Lufthansa’s false claims regarding the operation of + ghost flights + for the sole purpose of + blocking + their slots and protecting themselves from competition from low-cost airlines, “the Irish company, used to these communications blows, said in a statement.

“The solution is simple: Lufthansa should sell the seats for these low-cost flights and reward European consumers, many of whom have funded the € 12 billion in state aid that Lufthansa and its subsidiaries in Belgium, Austria and in Switzerland have already received taxpayers hard hit during the last two years of the Covid crisis, “quipped the” low-cost “specialist.

“18,000 unnecessary flights”?

And its CEO to drive the point home: “Lufthansa loves to cry crocodile tears over the environment as it does everything to protect its slots. Slots are the means by which it blocks competition and limits choice in markets. major airports, “said Michael O’Leary, quoted in the press release. The CEO of the German group Carsten Spohr had warned on December 23 that he would be forced to perform “18,000 unnecessary flights” during the winter “only to keep his take-off and landing rights”.

In normal times, European rules provide that companies must use at least 80% of the take-off and landing slots allocated to them at airports, otherwise they lose their rights the following season. These rules have been rendered inapplicable by the health crisis which has caused the collapse of air traffic since March 2020, leading Brussels to suspend them. Since March 28, 2021, companies are required to use 50% of their take-off and landing slots in order to be able to keep them, but this level is considered excessive by many players in an airline sector that is still recovering.

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