Ryanair said it is suing the British government for £3 million. It is claiming compensation for losses incurred from cancellations and lost bookings during the recent terrorism alert.
Ryanair gave the government one-week to normalise procedures introduced following the foiling of an alleged plot to bomb airliners.
Calling for the UK Government to show some leadership, and restore UK airport security to the IATA norm, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said:
“Ryanair has released another 1 million seats for sale on our website at just 99 pence (plus taxes) to keep Britain flying. Sadly the UK DfT is doing nothing to restore normality. The longer these additional, yet nonsensical and ineffective security measures remain at the UK airports, then the more UK passengers and visitors will suffer unnecessary queuing, delays and flight cancellations. The DfT is undermining the credibility of UK airport security and pandering to the extremists by continuing to require these nonsensical and ineffective measures. The DfT has failed to explain how these measures add to or improve airport security.
We should not be moved - the way to defeat terrorism is to get back to normal. It is a pity that the UK Government has so far failed to adopt the same rock solid approach it took when it successfully restored the London Underground to normal within two days of the 7/7 attacks. It is now two weeks since the Government successfully averted the alleged terrorist/extremist attack at the UK airports, and it is time to return UK airports security to the same IATA norms which apply at every other international European airport, and which have successfully prevented a terrorist/extremist attack at a UK airport or a UK aircraft for over 25 years. Sadly the DfT, by failing to return airport security to normal, is handing the extremists an undeserved and unnecessary victory!.
We have today submitted a claim for compensation to the UK Department for Transport under Section 93 of the Transport Act 2000. The value of the claim is just over £3m. and reflects Ryanair’s losses from cancellations and lost bookings over the week of 10-16 August only. The purpose of this claim is to encourage the DfT to restore UK airport security to the effective IATA norm, and to prevent similar breakdowns at UK airports during future security scares by putting in the necessary police and army personnel to carry out the extra security checks whenever the Government decides to double or quadruple them again, without notice.
As Ryanair’s sole motive in this action is to defeat terrorism by returning airport security to normal, and since we don’t wish to be seen to profit in any way from suing the Government, all proceeds received from a successful claim under the 2000 Transport Act will be donated to Ryanair’s nominated charity, Orbis, which is fighting to eliminate avoidable blindness in the developing world by operating the world’s only flying eye hospital (www.orbis.org.uk)”.
Ryanair has also been nominated at this year’s World Travel Awards in the category of Europe’s Leading No-Frills Airline.