O’Leary brands ash cloud ‘mythical’

O’Leary brands ash cloud ‘mythical’

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has launched a scathing attack on the CAA and the Met Office after Scottish airspace was closed due to fears about volcanic ash.

The chief executive said the airline had sent a test aircraft up to 40,000ft and flown it for an hour and a half and he concluded the ash cloud “mythical”.

He accused bureaucrats of “covering their backsides” and demanded the decisions on safety be left to the experts; the engine manufacturers and airlines.

“It’s perfectly safe,” O’Leary said. “They [the CAA] are acting on inaccurate charts produced by the Met Office. We are back to the bureaucratic bungling of last year.”

O’Leary denied a CAA claim that the aircraft that it flew today did not have the proper testing equipment onboard to assess damage.

But O’Leary said no airline was looking to fly when it was not safe and repeated that the so-called “red zone” of highest ash density according to the Met Office was safe to fly through.

“We have taken a plane up this morning through the red zone and there is no volcanic ash. The predictions are rubbish. We have extensive safety procedures in place. This matter should be left to the experts.”


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