Ryanair attacks ENAC: “President Di Palma resigns, he tells lies”

Ryanair attacks ENAC: “President Di Palma resigns, he tells lies”

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Open clash between Ryanair and the National Civil Aviation Authority (Enac). The Irish airline, the leading operator in Italy, is asking for the resignation of the organisation’s number one, Pierluigi Di Palma. The latest statements by the Enac president triggered the ire of the company led by Michael O’Leary. The request for a step back comes, explains a note from Ryanair, “following its latest false statements on the existence of an “oligopoly” in Italy or on the fact that “low cost airlines no longer exist” or, even more absurdly, that low tariffs “will never be there again”. Di Palma’s reply is clear: “Respect the Italian institutions”.

The Irish airline’s attack is clear, and is destined to cause heavy consequences in view of the summer. Di Palma’s latest embarrassing statements, the note says, “come less than 12 months after his other false claims about airlines in Italy ‘working together’ to raise fares, about non-existent 1,000 euro plane tickets and about non-existent algorithms that airlines use to understand which mobile phones passengers use.” Not only. “It is clear that Di Palma has no idea what an oligopoly is. Ryanair sent him a book “Economics for Dummies” to teach him that an oligopoly is a market in which a small number of suppliers work together to limit supply and raise prices.” In the Italian market, the company recalls, “Ryanair, which has less than 40% market share (not 51% as Di Palma incorrectly claims), is increasing its seat capacity by 10% in 2024 and is lowering airfares for millions of Italian consumers”.

CEO O’Leary did not mince words. “Contrary to Di Palma’s latest false claims, Ryanair will offer over 29 million seats to/from Italy in its 2024 summer schedule. Just over 12 million of these seats (over 40%) will be sold at fares of 29, 99 euros or less for one way. Over 15 million seats (more than 50%) are on sale at rates equal to or less than 39.99 euros,” he noted. Di Palma, states the manager, “repeatedly makes false statements, which deceive the Italian government and citizens with reference to the air transport market in Italy. Di Palma knows nothing about aviation, and that’s why he continues to make these stupid and embarrassing statements. Probably, he should learn economics and stop making false claims about a non-existent “oligopoly” in Italy when Ryanair continues to increase the supply of seats and lower airfares”.

The reply was not long in coming. “I don’t respond to O’Leary and his provocations – Pierluigi Di Palma, president of Enac, says on the phone to Corriere della Sera – and I understand that my statements annoy him. I would just like to remind him that he must respect the Italian institutions and those represents them”. And then the gloss. “Our task – he adds – is to always stand alongside the citizen-passenger, protecting him in every aspect, including the cost of transport”. It is easy to imagine that there will be a new episode of the clash over flights ahead of the summer.


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