(UK) – Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, has criticized a report on the flight disruptions during the bank holiday weekend as “rubbish,” claiming it downplays the impact on the aviation industry and is filled with excuses.
The UK’s air traffic control system experienced a rare failure, resulting in hundreds of delayed or canceled flights on August 28.
The disruption is expected to cost Ryanair between £15 million and £20 million in refunds for hotels, food, and alternative travel arrangements.
Ryanair demands nats take responsibility for flight disruption costs
While O’Leary believes there won’t be any issues with customers claiming costs, he demands that Nats, the UK’s air traffic control service, accepts responsibility for its incompetence.
Airlines UK, an industry group representing major carriers like Ryanair, British Airways, and EasyJet, argues that airlines incurred significant costs due to the disruption and is calling for these costs to be covered.
O’Leary stated that the disruption “was entirely caused by Nats’ incompetence in dealing with a ‘one in 15 million’ event.”
The disruption was caused by a system error related to flight plans, which Nats says was a one-in-15-million event. Engineers had to resolve the problem, leading to significant delays and cancellations.
The UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has launched an independent review and stated that it could take action if Nats breached its obligations.
Nats has apologized for the disruption and noted that safety was never compromised.