Ryanair’s CEO is highly critical – head of Delta expresses his thanks at ITB Berlin NOW
The CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, was highly critical of the state support given to airlines during the coronavirus crisis. In contrast, the head of the US company Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian, expressed his gratitude for government assistance. This was revealed in the interviews they gave at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention.
Wilson acknowledged that state support could be useful on certain routes, but there was no point in handing out taxpayers‘ money to companies serving destinations in Spain, Portugal or Greece. As the situation currently stood, taxpayers were subsidising vacation travel to the Dominican Republic. It would be better to invest these billions in vaccines and the healthcare system.
Wilson emphasised that his company had plans for further growth. In his opinion the airlines could eventually come out of this crisis in a stronger position. Ryanair itself would be keen to continue expanding. The addition of the new Boeing 737 Max to its fleet in the summer would further reduce the company’s ecological footprint by enabling more passengers to be carried while at the same time cutting fuel consumption.
For Bastian the airline industry in the United States was not only system-relevant but was also making its own contribution towards combating the pandemic. Had it not been for companies such as Delta, many of essential infrastructural elements would have been unable to function. Bastian shared Wilson’s conviction that the travel sector would soon recover. For Delta’s domestic flights this would begin in the next few weeks as the vaccination rate increased. With regard to the rest of the world “we are still one year away”. It was now important to ensure that standardised vaccination and testing rules were introduced for worldwide air travel.