Ryanair pulls out over £10 airport charge

Budget airline Ryanair is to stop services from one of its departure airports in protest at a £10 charge being introduced there in the New Year.

From 5 January, Blackpool airport is bringing in an airport development fee which will affect all departing passengers aged 16 or over.

Ryanair said today it will close its daily Blackpool-Dublin and its three-a-week Blackpool-Girona services from 4 January.

Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said: "This is a black day for Blackpool airport.

"The management's decision, against Ryanair's advice, to introduce an airport development fee is an extremely regressive step which inevitably involves a massive increase in the cost of travel for passengers through the airport."

Ryanair has carried more than 1.3 million passengers on its Blackpool routes since starting at the Lancashire airport in May 2003.

This is the latest in a series of route closures and frequency reductions announced by Ryanair in recent weeks.