Ryanair reveals 30% cutback at Stansted

Budget carrier Ryanair today announced it was slashing the number of flights it will operate from Stansted airport this winter.



The no-frills Irish airline is reducing the number of weekly flights at the Essex airport by 30 per cent between October 2009 and March 2010.

This amounts to a 40 per cent reduction in capacity as Ryanair will cut the number of aircraft at Stansted from 40 this summer to 24 in winter 2009/10.



Ryanair blamed the cutback on the fact that Stansted is one of its two most expensive bases (Dublin is the other) and that airport operator BAA had rejected the airline's calls for "deep cuts in these high passenger fees this winter".

Ryanair, which now expects to carry 2.5 million fewer passengers at Stansted this winter, also pointed to the Government increase in the Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax from November this year.

The airline said that in recent months the Belgian, Dutch, Greek and Spanish governments had all scrapped tourist taxes and/or reduced airport charges to zero to stimulate tourism.

It said it would now switch the 16 aircraft it was withdrawing from Stansted to other European bases.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "Sadly UK traffic and tourism continues to collapse while Ryanair continues to grow traffic rapidly in those countries which welcome tourists instead of taxing them.

"Ryanair's 40 per cent capacity cutback at London Stansted shows just how much Gordon Brown's £10 tourist tax and the BAA monopoly's high airport charges are damaging London and UK tourism and the British economy generally."

He added that other governments' tax-and-charges cutbacks underlined "the urgent need to break up the high-cost BAA airport monopoly (as recommended by the Competition Commission) and to scrap Gordon Brown's insane and damaging £10 tourist tax which has caused UK traffic to collapse".



Leaders of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) met Government ministers today to press for the abolition of the APD, warning the tax could "cripple" the industry.

General secretary Jim McAuslan said: "This tax is going to increase dramatically in the next couple of years and will undoubtedly put flying out of the reach of many families and could cripple the industry.

"We are urging ministers to scrap the increases. We believe there is a very strong case for lifting it altogether."



Gary Pearce of the GMB union said: "Because of the last round of redundancies, the remaining staff, many of whom are GMB members who work for the handling agent under contract to provide airport service to Ryanair, are currently working up to 35 per cent more on overtime.

"We will be arguing to have the existing staff working at an acceptable level before there are any calls for redundancies which GMB will fight because we know that the work will pick up again next March."



Stansted managing director Stewart Wingate said: "Today's announcement means it is business as usual here at Stansted.

"Last winter Ryanair reduced its aircraft fleet here to 28. This year it will be 24. It is common practice for it to reduce frequency to various destinations during the winter season as it has done in previous years. We have factored this potential outcome into our latest passenger forecasts.

"However, it should be noted that Ryanair recently announced it will launch a new service to Oslo from Stansted this October."

He went on: "Ryanair is one of the most profitable airlines in the world and the success of its base here, where it has invested millions in new facilities, has helped it become as successful as it is today.

"Stansted has been good for Ryanair and in turn, Ryanair has been good for Stansted, flying nearly five million passengers to destinations across Europe in 2008. We look forward to continuing this successful relationship for many years to come."

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore