Ryanair quits industry group advising on UK aviation strategy


DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair on Tuesday resigned from an industry group set up by the British government to help implement its aviation strategy, dismissing it as a “talking shop” which has delivered no benefits or reforms for passengers.

The UK Aviation Council first met in February to advise on a ten-year plan set out by ministers last year to – among other goals – grow airport capacity, boost the use of sustainable aviation fuels and improve consumer experience.

Its members include the chief executives of major airlines operating in Britain, including easyJet and IAG-owned <ICAG.L > British Airways, along with the heads of airports and trade bodies.

Ryanair said it urged the government in February to cut UK visa costs, push for effective air space reform in Europe and improve border control, air traffic control and handling staffing.

“We joined the UK Aviation Council when Transport Minister Mark Harper assured us it would be used as a “delivery body” to improve the resilience of UK aviation,” Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

“Sadly, this has proved to be an empty promise and the council has become a talking shop for government bureaucrats and the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to waffle on about reform while delivering none.”

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by William James)

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