Ryanair chief wants new runways at each airport
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 20 November 2012
Ryanair's chief executive has described plans for a Thames Estuary airport as “insane, stupid and hare-brained”.
Michael O'Leary was giving evidence to the Transport Select Committee, which is investigating aviation strategy. He characterised current government policy as "mess, fudge and dither" and told MPs choosing between extra capacity at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted was also a mistake: a new runway should be built at each.
"Instead of faffing about worrying about hubs, we should create excess runway capacity in the South-east.
"It would reverse the decline in traffic, grow tourism and grow jobs". The plan for three new runways was supported by Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, the travel association: "I'd endorse that. Excess capacity increases competition and improves resilience."
Mr O'Leary said Ryanair's projection of 80 million passengers this year made it the UK's favourite airline. "Passengers flock to us, they love us, can't get enough of us," he said.
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