Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called for new runways to be built at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted to solve capacity problems in the southeast.
The no-frills airline’s chief executive said that plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary, nicknamed Boris Island after London mayor Boris Johnson, were “pie in the sky” and would never get funded.
O’Leary added: “This government does not have an aviation policy – all they have is Boris running around talking about an airport that will not be built for another 30 years.
“You cannot build an airport in the estuary because you would have to build a motorway and rail infrastructure to get you there.
“We have called for the government to build a third runway at Heathrow and second runways at Gatwick and Stansted. There’s room for all three runways – they should be built straightaway.
“The problem would then be solved within five years and at a fraction of the cost. Otherwise the UK will continue losing out to European airports such as Paris, Madrid, Schipol and Frankfurt.”
The Department for Transport is due to unveil a report on its aviation strategy in the next few weeks which is looking at all options for increasing capacity in the south-east apart from a third runway at Heathrow which has been ruled out by the coalition.
O’Leary made his comments as Ryanair announced 26 new routes from Luton and Stansted this summer.
Most of the new routes are to holiday destinations but there are also year-round services from Stansted to Barcelona Gir, Barcelona Reus, Berlin, Budapest and Warsaw. The Luton flights also include Barcelona Gir and Barcelona Reus.
“None of these routes are related to the Olympics,” said O’Leary. “We believe there is demand for them on a summer or year-round basis.”
For more information visit ryanair.com.
Report by Rob Gill