Ryanair Holdings Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary says Britain’s revamped fiscal policy could bankrupt the country, while rising inflation and interest rates combined with a declining UK pound has one of his top executives saying the airline could quit the UK market.

Putting forward the Ryanair point of view in Dublin this week, O'Leary told journalists that "I think what they have done in the UK is nuts. I think they could bankrupt the UK economy in the next two years."

At the same event, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson warned the airline had the ability to withdraw from the UK market if economic conditions kept deteriorating and dampened demand for low-cost airline travel. According to a Bloomberg report, Ryanair is ready and willing to transfer its UK-based aircraft to any one of its 36 European bases.

"If there’s issues with demand we have that ability to grow and locate aircraft in places that have the best cost base and where demand reflects putting in that capacity," he said.

According to the ch-aviation PRO airlines module, Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) and Ryanair UK (RK, London Stansted) run 11 bases around the UK, including at Birmingham Int'l; Bournemouth: Bristol Int'l; East Midlands; Edinburgh; Glasgow Prestwick; Leeds/Bradford; Liverpool; London Luton; London Stansted; and Manchester Int'l. The airline's European bases are scattered across 12 countries. Ryanair UK has eight B737-800s on its books deployed out of its Stansted and Manchester bases.

The ch-aviation capacities module reveals that for the current week, easyJet controls the UK domestic and international market with 18.83% of the overall 3,143,156 weekly seats available followed by Ryanair with 17% and British Airways with 16.6%.

O'Leary adds that so far, despite the unfolding economic uncertainty in the UK, demand for seats is strong and presently Ryanair's scheduled seat capacity to and from the UK over the upcoming Northern Hemisphere winter is running around 8% above pre-pandemic levels.