00 Sunak is so busy popping his eyes over the figures ranging across his desk that he forgets to look skywards. If he did he would see airline vapour contrails spelling out the words ‘Help Us’.
With the Department of Transport’s red, amber and green lights for travel changing like the signals at Switch Island in Aintree, airlines are suffering increasingly loudly and only a fool and her credit card would back a summer destination out of the UK in the next four months.
Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair has been the choir and wind section for the air travel industry and he has very little good to say about ministers and their policies. However, he has shared around the criticism between the UK and Irish Governments. He said: “The (Irish) Government’s job is to act on behalf of everyone, including the travel and tourism industries, and not to keep deferring to the civil servants on the National Public Health Emergency Team.”
Of the Irish Minister of Transport, Eamon Ryan he said: “Ryan must be the worst Minister of Transport ever “ He added, “He’s a nice man, but completely ineffective.”
This is a bit of a coincidence, as everyone who has met Michael O’Leary has shared a similar view: “He’s not a nice man,” they shout in unison, “and we are not sure of his effectiveness, either.”
O’Leary has similar views about the UK Government, as you would expect. He dismisses “scare stories promulgated by the National Public Health Emergency Team” about the Indian variant of Covid, arguing that the evidence shows it is not resistant to vaccines. And O’Leary should know; he is a fully qualified viral epidemiologist … oh, no, hang on - he’s a person who wants to make money out of flying people throughout Europe and doesn’t give a to-be-sure about the consequences.
One airline which will no longer be flying out of Ireland is Stobart Air, which ceased trading on Saturday (12 June) and called in Liquidators after a rescue takeover deal with a 26-year-old blockchain entrepreneur fell through. The Irish-registered airline had provided short-haul operations and services for Aer Lingus, which were all cancelled without warning, leaving people stranded in places such as Birmingham. 480 people have lost their jobs and Aer Lingus is busying itself trying to put on flights to get people home.