Update 07/01/2021: Following the initial 10 days of cancellations, then the cancellations for the entire month of January, it now seems Ryanair have cancelled all routes between the UK and Ukraine indefinitely and stopped taking bookings.
Ryanair has confirmed that it has been forced to cancel 12 UK routes (from the UK to Ukraine and Morocco) due to the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) sudden change of policy on Sunday, 20 Dec that results in alleged new restrictions and makes the operation of these routes allegedly impossible. Only 10 days away from the end of the Brexit transition phase, the CAA’s Director David Kendrick has allegedly inexplicably introduced new regulatory barriers in the way of Ryanair’s UK airline, forcing Ryanair UK to cancel 12 important routes from the UK’s regions at a time when they need reliable, low fare connectivity more than ever before.
Ryanair alleged that CAA bureaucracy has decided to impose new restrictions late on a Sunday evening, just 10 days before the end of the Brexit transition, causing this unnecessary loss of connectivity to the UK economy.
Other airlines, such as Wizz Air and Ukraine International Airlines seem to be unaffected.
A Ryanair spokesperson said:
“We are disappointed to have to cancel 12 UK routes from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast and Derry, because of the CAA’s unexpected policy-shift late last night.
Ryanair UK had agreed Brexit contingency arrangements with the CAA 2 years ago and cannot comply with its new and impractical requirements at 10 days’ notice. We call on the CAA’s David Kendrick and his management colleagues to respect this long-standing agreement and the CAA’s own established policy in order to facilitate the return of these routes as soon as possible.“
Commenting on Ryanair’s recent press release, Paul Smith at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “It is incorrect for the airline to state that the UK Civil Aviation Authority has changed its wet-leasing policy at short notice. It has been our long-standing position that a UK airline with a significant presence in the UK, such as Ryanair UK does, should not rely heavily on using wet-leased, foreign-registered aircraft to undertake their operations. Doing so undermines the competitiveness of the UK aviation industry and the effectiveness of the regulatory regime. This is a view shared by regulators around the world and has nothing to do with our preparations for the end of the transition period, which we have planned for extensively.
“The decision to cancel these flights was taken by Ryanair alone. We will continue to engage with the airline on these matter as we seek to act in the best interest of consumers.”
Notes from the CAA:
- Ryanair has chosen to create a UK subsidiary to benefit from UK air traffic rights, including flying between domestic destinations in the UK.
- Ryanair UK currently has only one aircraft listed on the UK’s register. Ryanair has a fleet of over 470 aircraft.
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