Ryanair (Dublin) is cutting back on its schedule to both Madrid (35 percent reduction) and Barcelona (23 percent reduction) in response to higher airport charges at both airports. The airline issued the following statement:
Ryanair has confirmed deep cuts to its flights at Madrid and Barcelona and across its Spanish operations in 2013 in response to the Spanish Government doubling of airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports on July 1, 2012.
From March 30, 2013, Ryanair will cut its Madrid and Barcelona operations as follows:
· 4 based aircraft cut (from 14 to 10);
· 13 routes cancelled;
· 22 route frequency cuts;
· 272 weekly flights cut;
· 1.9m pax lost (from 5.3m to 3.4m);
· 1,900 “on site” jobs lost (ACI).
Barcelona El Prat (-23%):
· 1 based aircraft cut (from 13 to 12);
· 4 routes cancelled;
· 20 route frequency cuts;
· 170 weekly flights cut;
· 1.2m pax lost (from 5.4m to 4.2m);
· 1,200 “on site” jobs lost (ACI).
Spain (total) (-12%):
· 648 weekly flights cut;
· 4.5m pax lost (from 30m to 25.5m);
· 4,500 “on site” jobs lost (ACI).
These Ryanair cuts are the unavoidable response to the Spanish Goernment’s unjustified and unnecessary doubling of airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports in July 2012. These extortionate tax increases, which are now being investigated by the EU Commission, are particularly damaging for Spanish tourism, jobs and the economy at a time when youth unemployment in Spain stands at an alarming 50%.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHD (msn 33816) prepares to takeoff at London (Gatwick).