Ryanair has called for voters in the UK to choose to remain in the European Union in a referendum on June 23rd.
The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, which employs over 3,000 people across its 13 airport bases, and carries over 35 million customers between the UK and Europe each year, confirmed that it will actively campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote.
The carrier argues one of Europe’s great success stories was the advent of airline deregulation in the late 1980s, which broke the high fare cartel of Europe’s flag carrier airlines and fostered the rise of low fare airlines.
This has transformed air travel, tourism, economic growth and jobs, particularly in the regions of Britain, where Ryanair is growing strongly in cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, among others.
However, in recent years some of the benefits of low fare air travel for British consumers have been eroded by government regulation including UK APD travel tax and the EU’s failure to deliver its single sky project.
Ryanair remains, critical of both UK and EU government failure to promote low fare tourism growth in areas such as the UK travel tax and the continuing indecision over additional runway capacity in the south-east.
However, the carrier still remains a committed supporter of the UK remaining in Europe as it will lead to more UK job and the continued free movement of goods and services.
Ryanair also argues the EU open skies project has transformed UK tourism.
In London, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “As the UK’s largest airline, Ryanair is absolutely clear that the UK economy and its future growth prospects are stronger as a member of the European Union than they are outside of the EU.
“Leaving Europe won’t save the UK money or red tape because like Norway the UK will still have to contribute to Europe, and obey its rules if it wants to continue to trade freely with Europe, so it’s clear that UK voters should vote Yes to Europe and Yes to the reformed Europe, that David Cameron has delivered.
“Ryanair, our people and I hope the vast majority of our customers, will all work together over the coming months to help deliver a resounding Yes vote on June 23rd.”