Michael O'Leary / Ryanair

Michael O’Leary, CEO at Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, on Tuesday (today) encouraged European Union (EU) citizens to turn out and vote for parties who support the deregulation of air travel, encouraging greater freedom of movement across the continent.

This came as the airline launched a campaign at Brussels Zaventem Airport to call on EU citizens to vote in the upcoming EU elections, set to be held from 6th to 9th June. Ryanair noted that the growth of low far airline travel across the EU would not have been possible without the EU’s single market and the deregulation of air travel, freeing EU citizens “from the state-owned high fare flag carriers in the 1970s and 80s.”

Mr O’Leary said that low fare air travel has been “one of the great successes” of the EU’s single market.

However, he acknowledged that as can be seen through Brexit, these “freedoms and gains” presented by the single market can easily be lost, and thus it is “imperative” that all EU citizens vote in the coming elections.

Locally, the Members of European Parliament (MEP) election will take place on 8th June 2024.

“We strongly encourage all EU citizens to vote in favour of those parties who support the deregulation of air travel and who support the growth of low fare air travel, the freedom of movement of EU citizens across Europe,” he stated.

Airline deregulation is the process of removing Government-imposed entry and price restrictions on airlines, with this affecting which are carriers permitted to serve specific routes. EU rules are defined in a way to grant the same rights and opportunities to access air-transport-related services. The EU also established mechanisms to ensure fair competition and high connectivity throughout the EU.

Ryanair, together with other low-cost airlines such as easyJet, Wizz, and Jet2, have led this revolution, freeing travellers from the high prices that tend to be imposed by flag carriers. As a result, air travel across Europe and tourism in the peripheral states of Europe have grown over the past 30 years.

“We wish to see tourism and jobs across the regions of Europe grow and thrive over the next decade, and Ryanair is investing heavily in new fuel-efficient aircraft to deliver this growth in air travel while reducing our fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on a per passenger basis,” Mr O’Leary added.

Featured Image:

Ryanair CEO (centre) during the launch event / Ryanair

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