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Ambassador's allegations of Ryanair’s hiking costs for Ukrainian refugees 'concerning' - John Brady TD

16 March, 2022 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has expressed deep concern at comments made by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko, that Ryanair has engaged in the hiking of prices of flights for refugees out of Warsaw.

The Wicklow TD said:

“The Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko has alleged at a meeting of the EU Affairs Committee, that Ryanair have pushed up the cost of their flights out of Poland in order to take advantage of the desperation of those seeking to flee the conflict in Ukraine. If that is the case, this is a very serious matter.

"With three million people fleeing Ukraine, with barely the clothes on their backs, the accusation that an Irish airline would seek to take advantage of the situation is something that would certainly stick in the craw of the vast majority of Irish people.

"Particularly when we consider the incredible efforts being made across the country to raise funds, and to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

"Following suggestions made at the EU Affairs Committee yesterday, the Committee will be writing to Michael O’Leary seeking an explanation as to what exactly is the situation.

"The Committee will also be writing to the Transport Committee asking that the CEO of Ryanair be brought to appear before the Committee to answer questions in relation to these allegations.

"I think it needs to be said that Ryanair and other airlines should be offering free flights to fleeing refugees, or at the very least offering flights at rock bottom prices. 

"There is a role for the airlines to work alongside NGOs and government agencies in order to determine what needs there are, and how they can work to meet them. 

"I also believe that the Irish government should be providing charter flights to assist in airlifting refugees out of Poland, Romania, and Moldova, where there is a danger of a humanitarian crisis developing if efforts are not made to ease the pressure at key points, due to the numbers fleeing the conflict in Ukraine."

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