The controversy over the rules against expensive flights breaks out. The measure passed by the government is rejected by the CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, in an interview with La Repubblica where he announces the appeal to the EU Commission. To discuss the critical issues, the manager met the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy this morning, Adolfo Urso, at Mimit. At the center of the conversation, in addition to the rules contained in the asset decree that intervene on fares to and from Sicily and Sardinia, also the investments that the low cost company would be ready to make in our country.
“We aim to avoid market distortions by acting against an algorithm that causes harmful effects for the consumer, where there is no market alternative, but as with all measures we are available for comparison”. This was stated by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, responding at a press conference to a question on the measures against the high price of flights contained in the asset decree. «This morning I met the CEO of Ryanair who explained to me the development plans he has in our country and the problems the company can face. – he concluded – I am also available to meet the other airlines to understand if in the conversion phase” the asset decree “can be improved”.
The CEO of Ryanair has a completely different opinion, defining the decree as «ridiculous, illegal, it interferes with the laws of the free market according to EU standards. It must be cancelled”, underlining that “if it is not cancelled, there will be an impact on Ryanair’s operations in Italy”. Wilson also doesn’t like the accusation that there is an algorithm behind the pricing system. «I’ve read their algorithm ratings. Garbage. I’ve heard all this nonsense about customers’ Android or Apple devices, which would dictate our rates. It’s a conspiracy theory based on the fantasy of people who don’t have enough work to do.” And again: «We don’t know who buys our tickets at 20, 30, 40 euros. We do not profile our clients. How could we? I think these people who say these things have watched too much Netflix, they don’t live in the real world. We start by offering the lowest prices and then go up progressively». Wilson also explained that «we can’t convince people to fly with us if they don’t want to, only the price can convince them and that’s why we are so successful. We’ve been offering the lowest prices for years.”
Ryanair’s CEO added: “I was sad to tell the minister that he is the government and can change the law, but they can’t force us to fly to Sicily and Sardinia. To lower the prices, it is necessary to increase the capacity, i.e. to increase the places available. The people who are recommending it know nothing about the airline sector, they know nothing about economics», Wilson underlined, explaining that «in schools the first economics lesson they give you is that if you increase supply, prices decrease. But if you interfere and restrict prices, companies go elsewhere.’ So “if the decree were to remain like this, instead of opening new routes from any Italian city we will fly more to Spain”, Wilson pointed out, underlining that “in Malta, Cyprus, the Canary Islands they are rejoicing over this decree because they know we will fly more towards them. With Ryanair we have transformed Italy, this year with our company we will transport 56 million passengers to and from Italy» and «we have a 40% market share and we want to continue growing thanks to our low fares because this is our business». On the contrary “Lufthansa, which took Ita, is a specialist in raising rates,” said Wilson.
Finally, Wilson rejected the accusations of being part of a cartel: We are not part of a cartel, I will not be insulted. Ryanair has reached over 185 million passengers because we have lowered prices and we give value, we don’t need to talk to incompetent airlines. I’ve never spoken to anyone, never spoken to anyone in Italian», emphasizing that those who say that Ryanair has made a sign on flights to Sicily and Sardinia, such as the president of the Sicilian Region Renato Schifani, “say rubbish, nothing but rubbish”.
Schifani to CEO Ryanair, trash is harassing Sicilians
“Ryanair CEO Wilson explains to the millions of Sicilians if ch’s attitude isn’t scandalousi takes advantage of a situation of non-competition, I would say almost monopoly, to oppress an entire population with exorbitant prices. ‘Rubbish’, therefore, are certain conducts that we have reported to the Antitrust twice». Thus the Sicilian governor Schifani responds to Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson. «’Rubbish’ is making Sicilians suffer disproportionate prices when they want to travel for Christmas or during the month of August or when they are forced to book a flight without far in advance. – continues Schifani – Circumstances that we are fighting with our own forces and with the help of the national government, also thanks to the introduction among the companies that serve Sicily of a third carrier which, with affordable prices and rates that never exceed a certain ceiling, has favored mobility to and from our Island. I have always said that I would have met Ryanair’s CEO if he had given clear signs of wanting to reduce his company’s scandalous fares, in order to be able to agree on the methods. But – concludes the governor – the arrogance of that vector, demonstrated today also by the offensive statements of his boss, have prevented any type of mediation ».