EasyJet deserts Zurich over 'ludicrous' rise in fees

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Easyjet says it will no longer fly to Zurich, blaming "rip-off" passenger fees and operating restrictions at the Swiss airport.

Easyjet says it will no longer fly to Zurich, blaming "rip-off" passenger fees and operating restrictions at the Swiss airport.

"Our focus on enhancing margins and reducing costs is relentless," Ray Webster, the chief executive, said. Zurich had imposed a "ludicrous" 132 per cent rise in fees for using the airport over the past two years, making it the most expensive in easyJet's network, he added.

Costs for using the airport rocketed after an expensive terminal was built for Swissair. The airport had expected to pass on the charges to 40 million passengers, but the airline went bust in 2001, leaving Zurich airport with the bill. Only 17 million passengers use the airport, so charges to other airlines have increased dramatically.

An early curfew imposed by Germany on flights to and from Zurich has also made getting there more expensive, limitingthe number of flights that easyJet can offer.

"Airports and their ground handling costs account for 32 per cent of our total cost base. This is a rip-off, particularly as our customers do not value the airport experience - they simply use them to get from A to B," Mr Webster said.EasyJet will instead fly to Basel, saving it £15 a passenger in airport costs.Its last flight to Zurich will be on 31 October.

Comments