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Spanish routes cull ‘unavoidable’ says Ryanair

Ryanair is making significant cuts to its Spanish winter flight schedule, focusing on flights to and from Barcelona and Madrid.

The low fares airline claims that rising taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona airports have forced it to cancel 15 routes. Almost 500 weekly flights will be reduced from November. The Spanish government has recently doubled airport taxes at the two major tourist cities. This could be a huge problem for Spanish tourism as other airlines might feel the urge to pull out. Ryanair has called the service cuts ‘unavoidable’ following the steep rise in airport taxes.

“Ryanair objects to the Spanish government’s decision to double airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona airports,” said Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair. “Sadly, this will lead to severe traffic, tourism and job cuts at both airports this winter,” he added.

The increased departure tax came into effect on 1 July, Ryanair’s decision is expected to affect around 2,300 local jobs. A total of 11 routes to Madrid, including one from Manchester, are amongst those that will be cut this winter. Routes from the East Midlands and Leeds to Barcelona are also being cancelled as part of the winter flight schedule.

A further four routes to Barcelona will also stop running later this year. In addition to this, three aircraft from Madrid are being withdrawn and two from Barcelona. “Ryanair’s cuts alone will cause a combined loss of 2.3 million passengers and over 2,000 jobs at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports to other lower cost airports elsewhere in Europe, where Ryanair continues to grow,” added Mr O’Leary.

Those traveling overseas may wish to take out travel insurance. Some policies might be able to offer compensation in the event of flight cancellation or route cancellation.

Date Created: 24 July 2012

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