Bloomberg

Ryanair accuses Lufthansa of faking climate fears to keep airport slots

Ryanair Holdings is accusing German competitor Deutsche Lufthansa of raising false environmental concerns about so-called ghost flights to protect its bases at major airports.

Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair Holdings, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on May 20, 2019. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Christopher Goodney.

Lufthansa has claimed European Union slot regulations will force it to fly 18,000 flights without passengers over the winter season, causing unnecessary carbon-dioxide emissions. While activists including Greta Thunberg appeared to sympathize, Ryanair said the German airline should sell cheaper tickets to make sure the planes aren't empty.

"Lufthansa loves crying crocodile tears about the environment when doing everything possible to protect its slots," Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary said in an emailed statement. Holding onto unused airport capacity "blocks competition and limits choice at big hub airports," he said...

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