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ITB Berlin: Ryanair chief critical of state support for airlines | News

The chief executive of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, was highly critical of the state support given to airlines during the Covid-19 crisis.

During a presentation at ITB Berlin Now, the airline leader acknowledged that state support could be useful on certain routes, but there was no point in handing out taxpayers‘ money to companies serving destinations in Spain, Portugal or Greece.

As the situation currently stood, taxpayers were subsidising vacation travel to the Dominican Republic.

It would be better to invest these billions of euros in vaccines and the healthcare system, Wilson argued.

Wilson emphasised that his company had plans for further growth.

In his opinion the airlines could eventually come out of this crisis in a stronger position.

Ryanair itself would be keen to continue expanding.

The addition of the new Boeing 737 Max to its fleet in the summer would further reduce the ecological footprint of the carrier by enabling more passengers to be carried while at the same time cutting fuel consumption, he explained.

In contrast, the head of the US company Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian, expressed his gratitude for government assistance.

For Bastian, the airline industry in the United States was not only system-relevant but was also making its own contribution towards combating the pandemic.

Had it not been for companies such as Delta, many of essential infrastructural elements would have been unable to function.

Bastian shared Wilson’s conviction that the travel sector would soon recover.

For domestic flights on Delta this would begin in the next few weeks as vaccination rates increased.

With regard to the rest of the world “we are still one year away,” he added.

It was now important to ensure that standardised vaccination and testing rules were introduced for worldwide air travel.

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