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New routes in Bilbao

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary clashes with angry workers from Spanair

eitb.com

02/08/2012

The Spanair workers, that were protesting Spanair's "decision to cease operations", felt insulted by some of gestures of Michael O'Leary. He had to be protected by the police.

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Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary clashed with angry workers from Spanair on Tuesday when he was announcing new routes connecting the Basque airport of Bilbao with Madrid and Barcelona.

The Spanair workers, that were protesting Spanair's "decision to cease operations", felt insulted by some of gestures of Michael O'Leary. TV footage shows Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary making a victory sign in what workers said was an apparent act of provocation and a lack of respect. Police had to step in after tempers flared and protect the Ryanair chief executive.

Ryanair is examining opportunities in Spain following the collapse last week of loss-making rival Spanair.

Spanair said it had "taken the decision to cease operations," grounding its fleet. An estimated 22,000 passengers who had booked seats on 220 canceled flights were left looking for alternative arrangements.

The airline, whose hub was Barcelona airport, employed around 2,000 people and used the services of some 1,200 ground staff. It stopped operating after a Spanish regional government announced it could no longer fund the airline.

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