Ryanair cancels 21 routes and cuts its fleet from six aircrafts to three at Girona Airport
The low-cost airline has reduced its activity by half after failing to reach an agreement with the Government. This cut entails, according to the company, a 50% drop in traffic, which will decrease the number of passengers from 2.6 to 1.3 million.
Barcelona (ACN) - The low-cost airline Ryanair announced on Tuesday that, commencing in the winter season, it will reduce its activity at Girona airport by half. Cutting its operational six aircrafts to a fleet of three, Ryanair will cancel 21 routes. This cut entails, according to the company, a 50% drop in traffic, which will decrease the number of passengers from 2.6 to 1.3 million. The Vice President of the airline, Michael Cawley, has justified this decision due to the lack of agreement with the Government, but has ruled out endangering the base in Girona, if a contract can be settled. The activity of Ryanair in Girona will increase in the summer season.
The base of three aircrafts, running twenty-five routes, with 1.3 million passengers. These are the figures that will explain Ryanair's activity in Girona airport from the end of October. The low-cost airline has announced it will reduce its activity by half due to the lack of an agreement with the Government on this airport. The Vice President of Ryanair, Michael Cawley, has announced that 21 routes will be cancelled, three aircrafts will be dispensed, air traffic will be reduced by more than 180 flights per week and the number of passengers will drop from 2.6 to 1.3 million. Cawley announced at a press conference held in Barcelona on Tuesday that the decision was taken in anticipation of continuing difficulties with the government in the coming winter season. However, he added, Ryanair's base in Girona is not in immediate danger; if an agreement can be reached the activity of the airline will increase accordingly. The vice president said that Ryanair understands the financial difficulties of the government and their need to cut spending. But now more than ever, according to Cawley, they must both find a beneficial partnership if they are to obtain the maximum ROI. And Ryanair is a good partner, he added. It is estimated that for every five dollars invested in promoting the flights of the company, they achieve a return in the region of 500 euros. Therefore, Cawley said, a business opportunity with Ryanair should be considered more interesting than for example one with Grand Prix Formula 1 Montmelo, which, he said, costs more money and does not generate as much return. The policy of the Government with regard to airports is "wrong" according to Cawley, who has criticized the government's commitment to creating an airport network based on Spanair's design. Cawley said that Spanair is an airline "with little chance of survival" and pointed out that many of their passengers come to Spain on intercontinental flights, rarely visiting the city and therefore add nothing to the Spanish economy. Low cost flights on the other hand generate more income for Catalan hotels, restaurants and shops. Regarding the talks with the government, Cawley did not want to go into details, but warned that the company is not interested in receiving land to build a hotel- as it is not in the hotel business. The Vice President of Ryanair has shown readiness to continue negotiations with the Government in order to increase the activity following the summer season. He said the company has already made several proposals, none of which have been accepted by the Government. Cawley said Ryanair's situation within the three Catalan airports where it operates -El Prat, Girona and Reus- is completely different and its activity can and should be maintained separately. Ryanair still intends to close its operational base in Reus. In Girona, however, no agreement has even reached the stage of being signed because the Government has argued, according to Cawley, financial difficulties. Without agreement on these two airports, it will be difficult for Ryanair to maintain the growth of its airline, he said.