Ryanair is to cut services at Shannon Airport with the loss of 100 jobs, it was announced today.

The budget airline's chief Michael O'Leary blamed the Government's €10 travel tax for a fall in passenger numbers in the west claiming the knock-on effect could see another 700 support staff axed.

The Ryanair boss said he had no choice but to reduce aircraft, routes and flights from the end of March.

The airline estimates the region will lose 700,000 passengers and as a result of the massive drop in business more than 100 Ryanair positions will be transferred to other bases.

Mr O'Leary branded the airport tax "tourism suicide" and called on the Government to scrap the charge.

"This Government's decision to impose a travel tax of more than 100 per cent on these price sensitive visitors is insane and simply tourism suicide," he said.