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Discrimination Of Ryanair And Its Customers By Prime Minister Morawiecki Referred To EU Commission

Discrimination Of Ryanair And Its Customers By Prime Minister Morawiecki Referred To EU Commission

Ryanair has today (26 Apr) complained to the European Commission against the Polish prime minister’s decree of 25 April, which prioritises LOT and its customers at Warsaw Chopin over Ryanair passengers at Warsaw Modlin airport.  The prime minister arbitrarily selected 32 destinations served from Warsaw, to give them priority in the event of the expected ATC capacity collapse on 1 May.  The list inexplicably excludes destinations served by Ryanair from Warsaw Modlin, such as Stockholm and Milan, but includes LOT’s routes to Berlin and Vilnius, which can easily be reached by train or road in just a few hours.  This discriminatory selection of priority routes means that Ryanair (Poland’s largest airline) and Wizzair are each allowed to operate only 2 routes from Warsaw in May, while LOT will operate 19 routes, including Rzeszow and Szczecin which are clearly not essential for air connectivity from Warsaw.

The mismanaged pay dispute with air traffic controllers in the Warsaw area has now given the Polish government another opportunity to protect its failed national airline from low fare competition.  As Ryanair faces a threat of being forced to cancel 55 of its 57 routes to Warsaw, LOT will enjoy an effective monopoly under this illegal government decree.  The prime minister’s discriminatory treatment of Ryanair – Poland’s largest airline – will disrupt travel plans of over 11,000 passengers every day, while many of LOT’s non-essential routes will continue to operate.

Ryanair’s Group Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, said:

The Polish government has first mismanaged the pay dispute with Warsaw air traffic controllers and has now shown complete disregard for Ryanair passengers, choosing to protect non-essential LOT routes to Berlin, Vilnius, Szczecin, Rzeszow and other nearby destinations, at the expense of key Ryanair routes such as Stockholm and Milan. 

The prime minister’s decree unlawfully discriminates against Ryanair – Poland’s largest airline – and our passengers by reducing our operation at Warsaw Modlin to 2 routes in the event of an ATC capacity collapse in Warsaw on 1 May, while protecting 19 LOT routes out of Warsaw Chopin.  If this unlawful decree is allowed to stand for the month of May, over 300,000 Ryanair passengers will have their flights cancelled while LOT will continue to operate half-empty regional jets on domestic routes.

We call on EU Commissioners Valean and Vestager to intervene today to ensure that basic principles of EU law are respected by the Polish prime minister and to prevent this blatant discrimination against Ryanair and our customers.

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