Ryanair has claimed Flybe’s business model is ‘doomed to fail again and again’ and is demanding that the same ‘subsidies’ given to Flybe are extended to its UK rivals.
In a strongly-worded letter to the chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid, (see the letter in full below), Ryanair said the air passenger duty ‘holiday’ given to Flybe must be given to Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways, or it will take legal action over a breach of competition law and state aid rules.
The airline’s chief, Michael O’Leary, said: “The Flybe model is not viable which is why its billionaire owners are looking for a state subsidy for their failed investment.
“The reason why Flybe isn’t viable is because it cannot compete with lower fare services from UK regional airports on domestic and EU routes provided by Ryanair, easyJet, BA and others and it cannot compete with lower cost road and rail alternatives on many smaller UK domestic routes.~
“If Flybe fails (as it undoubtedly will once this Government subsidy ends) then Ryanair, easyJet, BA and others will step in and provide lower fare flights from the UK regional airports, as we already have to make up for the recent failure of Thomas Cook Airways.”
Ryanair’s statement claimed the Flybe business model is ‘neither profitable nor viable and has lurched from failure to failure repeatedly over the last 20 years’.
It also said that while the Flybe business model is unsustainable, it is owned by billionaires ‘including Richard Branson, Delta Airlines and Cyrus Capital’, who ‘do not need a Government subsidy to prop up their failed airline investments’.