A stalemate in talks with BAA-owned Edinburgh airport over future charges have been blamed by Ryanair for a decision to cut five routes this summer.
The budget carrier is to withdraw one of its seven aircraft based at the BAA-owned Scottish airport and close routes to Berlin, Malmo, Murcia, Ibiza and Tallinn from the start of the summer schedule in April.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary claimed the action would lead to the loss of up to 300 jobs and a 300,000 reduction in the number of annual passengers the airline carries through the airport.
The carrier’s route network will fall from 40 to 35 and the number of weekly flights will be reduced from 140 to 110.
The cuts are being made following the breakdown of negotiations about a “competitive cost base” for further Ryanair growth at Edinburgh.
Ryanair warned of further “significant” aircraft, route, traffic and jobs cuts from winter 2012 onwards if talks to extend a five-year flying agreement from October break down.
O’Leary said: “Ryanair regrets BAA Edinburgh airport’s rejection of our proposals for a competitive cost base which would allow Ryanair to further grow our traffic and routes for summer 2012.
“While Ryanair remains committed to Edinburgh airport, BAA cannot continue to ignore the competitive marketplace, where airports all over the UK and Europe have been reducing costs and lowering charges in return for traffic growth.
“We hope even at this late stage that BAA Edinburgh will realise that the way to grow traffic and jobs is by working with Ryanair to lower passengers fares, not raise them.”
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