Friday 23 February 2018

Greece crisis: Ryanair offers free domestic flights... if airport charges are scrapped

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. Photo: Mark Condren
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. Photo: Mark Condren
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

RYANAIR has offered to let passengers fly for free on some domestic air routes in Greece – but only if airport charges at Athens are scrapped first.

The airline, headed by Michael O’Leary, said that it would let Greek citizens fly for free on services over a two-week period between Athens and three internal destinations – Chania, Rhodes, and Thessalonika.

“In light of the current economic crisis in Greece, Ryanair has underlined its commitment to Greece and growing Greek tourism and vows to do all it can to help keep Greece moving,” it said.

But the airline said that the free flights would be available only when Athens Airport and Greek aviation authorities (the HCCA) agree to waive all airport charges and taxes on the three routes.

Read more: Germany concedes Greece needs debt relief - reforms ready 'within hours'

The airline plans to start offering the free seats on Monday, with the offer open until July 27.

“In this time of economic turmoil the Greek people need all the assistance they can get, which is why we have requested our partners in Athens Airport and the HCCA to waive the airport charges and taxes for Greek citizens,” said Ryanair chief commercial officer David O’Brien.

Mr O’Leary said this week that the Greeks had elected a “bunch of lunatics”.

"The Greek situation is a tragedy, but, you know, the difficulty for the Greeks is that they've elected a bunch of lunatics,” he said.

Ryanair has resorted to accepting cash payments for tickets in Greece because of the bank closures and capital controls in the country.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business