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Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary: ‘British government couldn't run a sweet shop’

Airline chief blames Brexit for delays at Heathrow and other UK airports  

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Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has blamed the UK Government’s Brexit policy on the airport delays there, saying they “couldn’t run a sweet shop”.

Many airports in the UK are experiencing significant delays as Heathrow today asked airlines to cancel 10pc of their flights due to a baggage backlog. 

Despite the UK Government insisting Brexit isn’t to blame for the delays, the Ryanair boss said “it’s completely to do with Brexit” as many Europeans are unable to work in the country. 

"An awful lot of these pinch points would be resolved very quickly and very frankly if we could bring people in to do these jobs that people in the UK are not applying for and don’t want to do,” Mr O’Leary told Sky News. 

"If we can’t attract people to do those jobs like baggage handling and security the airports we are going to have to bring in workers whether it's from Ireland or the continent in Europe, and Brexit is the big bug bearer in the system, it has introduced enormous labour market inflexibility in the UK and there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK that British people don't want to do.”

The Ryanair chief said he expects these problems in airports will continue right through the summer, particularly in Heathrow and Gatwick. 

"Ryanair is operating a full schedule, we are fully scheduled with cabin crew and pilots but we last weekend 24pc of our flights were delayed by air traffic control delays and another 15pc were delayed by airport and handling delays, I think it is going to be a struggle through the summer.”

He added that it’s “the Government’s response to everything” to blame the airlines for the delays. 

"This government couldn’t run a sweet shop, the airlines, Ryanair, we are fully staffed we aren’t cancelling any flights, we have a full schedule.

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"But we are hide-bound and hamstrung by a Government so desperate to show Brexit has been a success when it's been an abject failure, it won't allow us to bring in EU workers to do these jobs.”


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