It's not surprising to see a slew of new Ryanair press releases on the day it was finally forced to admit defeat in its battle to hold onto a stake in Aer Lingus. It could be a coincidence but the airline chose today to have a go at Danish unions planning to strike at Copenhagen airport, to remind customers to book one of its 1 million €19.85 (£14.30) fares to celebrate its 30th birthday, and to launch a campaign to 'Keep Greece Flying'.
It had offered to provide free domestic flights for two weeks on some domestic routes in the turmoil-hit country on the condition that the authorities and Athens airport waived their fees. But after the offer was turned down, Ryanair said today that it would be cutting fares to €5 on some domestic routes and cutting international fares by 30%.
'It’s disappointing that the Greek Government has declined Ryanair’s offer of free domestic flights for Greek citizens,' said the airline's chief commercial officer David O'Brien. 'However, we will continue to "Keep Greece Flying" by cutting Greek domestic fares to just €4.99 for two weeks.
'Greek consumers and visitors can rest assured that Ryanair remains committed to growing in Greece and we will continue to stimulate travel and tourism in Greece by working with our partners in the Greek airports and Greek Government at this time of economic crisis.'
A cynic would say that Ryanair is simply taken advantage of the desperate plight of the Greeks to further its own ends, but all the Greeks who nab a €5 flight from Rhodes to Athens probably won't mind.