Michael O'Leary 'very contrite' over Ryanair flight cancellations, says Shane Ross

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is 'very contrite' over the airline's rolling flight cancellation programme, Transport Minister Shane Ross said in London yesterday, but the problem 'should have been foreseen,' writes Daniel McConnell in London.

Mr Ross revealed that he had spoken to Mr O'Leary on both Saturday and Sunday last.

"I expressed the Government's concerns about passengers. Mr O'Leary said to me that Ryanair had come out publicly with its hands up, and was absolutely determined to compensate people fully and properly.

"There was no question of them not complying as rapidly as possible. It was a surprise, it was a shock, and the passengers who have been inconvenienced will be fully compensated," he said.

"'We have been on contact of course with the regulator, the Commission on Aviation Regulation and with the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) to ensure this happens, and Michael O'Leary is cooperating fully.

"He was contrite, and he was quite adamant that they had had a very good run up to this, but he was contrite in a very colourful way. And he was contrite before I spoke to him. He is doing very seriously what is absolutely necessary."

But Minister Ross added: "You've got to remember that Ryanair has done Ireland and consumers a very great service in the past. I am sure that its reputation and Ireland's reputation will be fully restored as soon as possible.

"But my view is that it should have been foreseen, and what happened was unacceptable."

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