Ryanair's new routes could face delays due to strike


Ryanair will be forced to delay new route launches if the strike at aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, extends into late November.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, yesterday said the firm "can cope" with the Boeing strike for September and October but will face delays if it persists beyond then.

The airline is waiting for Boeing to deliver a number of new aircraft to facilitate route and schedule expansion.

If the action at Boeing goes through until the end of November, new route launches scheduled for January and February would be held back, Mr O'Leary said.

Ryanair is currently phasing out its fleet of older aircraft and is due to stop using them at the end of this year as it takes delivery of the new planes.

The retirement of three of the older planes has already been delayed by the Boeing action, which began at the start of this month.

The most recent Boeing strike lasted for 69 days.

Mr O'Leary was speaking after the airline's annual general meeting, held in Dublin yesterday.

When asked about the the Dublin Airport Authority's (DAA) plans for a second terminal at Dublin Airport, unveiled this week, Mr O'Leary said he had been "somewhat surprised" by the announcement.

He was "even more surprised", he said, by claims that Ryanair had been consulted on the matter. The airline is seeking a meeting with the DAA about the terminal, he added.

Ryanair will support the new terminal if it is a low-cost, well-run facility, according to Mr O'Leary. If it is "more of the same", however, the airline will concentrate more on "low-cost airports like Shannon", he said.

Ryanair opposes the DAA's leadership of the second-terminal project. Mr O'Leary predicted the new terminal would take too long to bring into operation, would handle too few passengers and would cost too much.

"In no other market would this kind of nonsense go on except in regulated monopolies in this country," said Mr O'Leary.

He went on to reassert the company's plan to "take traffic off CIÉ" by establishing more domestic routes. Earlier this month, Ryanair launched a new service between Dublin and Cork.