A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ryanair flies off in a huff from Belfast City

I have mixed views on Ryanair. It's a bit like going to a restaurant and picking out the good bits in an indifferent meal. No doubt about it, Ryanair has given choice to the flying public and they give low fares and can make a profit. But sometimes, under the leadership of Michael O'Leary, Ryanair can treat its customers like a load of sheep going for a dipping. And that's just the customers. The way some airports are treated, well, it's more like be jilted at the church door or being stood up publicly at the high school prom. Nothing is done without a sense of "getting my way". So Ryanair has gone off in a huff. This time it is Belfast City Airport. What was their problem? Not getting the runway extended as per O'Leary's wants and desires.

The result of all this is a loss of jobs, more backstage (and no doubt front of house stuff too!) squabbling, and less competition. Rival Flybe is to start services to Bristol, East Midlands and Liverpool, but that leaves Stansted and Prestwick out. Routes move around like a tray of biscuits. But is it all necessary?

John Moore, from Northern Ireland's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the loss of Ryanair was a major blow. He said, "It's a loss of revenue to the airport and probably a fairly extensive loss of jobs. More importantly, to the service sector of the city of Belfast it's going to mean a big loss, especially at a time of economic recession." So more job losses. Typically, O'Leary suggests that if the runway extension goes ahead, Ryanair will be back. Basically, just get the planning inquiry over with.

It seems that this is a typical case of British corporate planning as we have it today. Surely there must be better ways of running things?


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