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Ryanair complains to European Commission over Polish decision to reduce flights in capital

Up to 80% of air traffic controllers in the Warsaw region have threatened to walk out due to a conflict over wages and safety.

Ryanair planes at Modlin airport in Warsaw
Ryanair planes at Modlin airport in Warsaw
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

RYANAIR IS PROTESTING a Polish government decision to reduce Warsaw flight destinations in response to a dispute with Polish air traffic controllers.

Up to 80% of controllers in the Warsaw region have threatened to walk out next month due to a conflict over wages and safety.

In response, the Polish government announced late yesterday that it would limit traffic at Chopin airport, where flag carrier LOT operates, and Warsaw’s other airport Modlin, where Ryanair flies to and from.

The government said it would limit operating hours and also slash some destinations.

Ryanair is arguing that the choice of cities favours the LOT airline. 

“The prime minister’s decree unlawfully discriminates against Ryanair –- Poland’s largest airline –- and our passengers by reducing our operation at Warsaw Modlin,” company chief Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

He said Ryanair has complained to the European Commission over the move.

“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… at the expense of key Ryanair routes,” O’Leary said.

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“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.”

© AFP 2022

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