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Ryanair rebuffs disability criticism

A statement from Ryanair followed yesterday’s stinging criticism of the airline after nine blind passengers were removed from a flight bound for Italy. The group of passeners from Norwich are seeking compensation. Ryanair’s statement reads as follows:“Ryanair welcomes all disabled / reduced mobility passengers on board and carry hundreds of thousands every year. However, in accordance with our long standing safety procedures we will continue - for safety reasons only - to limit the number of disabled/mobility impaired passengers to 4 per flight. This limit was originally agreed with the UK’s Disability Rights Commission for safety reasons. This is so our crew can attend to these passengers individually in the case of emergency evacuations.

The only reason why these 9 blind passengers and partially sighted people were asked to travel on a later flight was because (1) they did not - as they are required - notify the airline of their disability at the time of booking and (2) there were already 3 disabled passengers on board and who travelled on that flight.

It would have been unsafe to allow a total of 12 disabled / reduced mobility passengers to travel on board the flight as we would have been unable to attend to them in the case of an emergency evacuation. As in all cases, safety is Ryanair’s No.1 priority.”