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Ryanair will reduce its presence in Barcelona El Prat by 23% because of the airport tax increase

From the next summer season, the Irish low-cost airline will cancel 4 routes from Barcelona Airport and reduce the frequency of 20 others due to the increase in airport taxes imposed by the Spanish Government. This decision means that 170 fewer flights will operate through the Catalan airport per week. In addition, the number of passengers transported per year by Ryanair will also be reduced, dropping from 5.4 million to 4.2 million. Furthermore, it will mean the direct loss of 1,200 jobs at Barcelona El Prat Airport, according to the airline. Ryanair will also cancel routes from Madrid Barajas and it will eliminate the flight linking the Spanish capital to Girona airport.

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28 November 2012 09:16 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- From the next summer season, the Irish low-cost airline will cancel 4 routes from Barcelona El Prat Airport and reduce the frequency of 20 others due to the increase in airport taxes imposed by the Spanish Government, explained Ryanair\u2019s Vice President, Michael Cawley, in Barcelona on Wednesday. This decision will mean a reduction in the number of operations through the Catalan airport by 170 flights per week as well as a drop in the number of passengers transported per year by Ryanair, decreasing from 5.4 million to 4.2 million. Furthermore, it will mean the direct loss of 1,200 jobs at Barcelona El Prat Airport, according to the airline. Ryanair will also cancel routes from Madrid Barajas, which will have direct consequences for Catalan airports; the low-cost airline will eliminate the flight linking the Spanish capital to Girona airport.


On Wednesday, Ryanair\u2019s Vice President announced that they will reduce their number of operations through Barcelona El Prat and Madrid Barajas because of the higher airport fees approved by the Spanish Transport Ministry for Spain\u2019s two main airports. According to Cawley, this increase is \u201Cunjustified\u201D. Therefore, Ryanair will cancel the routes linking the Catalan capital with Alacant/Alicante, Lubeck, Munich and Trieste. In addition, it will reduce the number of flights per week on 20 other routes, including destinations such as Palma de Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza. This will represent a 23% decrease in the number of passengers transported per year, dropping from 5.4 million to 4.2 million. Furthermore, the number of Ryanair planes based in Barcelona will decrease from 13 to 12.

Cawley lamented that \u201Cit is mad doubling airport taxes\u201D, because with this decision the Spanish Government \u201Cis killing tourism\u201D, he stated. However, he said that if the Spanish Airport Authority AENA decided to reduce airport taxes for the next season, Ryanair\u2019s decision could be \u201Creversible\u201D. He added that negotiating with AENA \u201Cis difficult\u201D. Furthermore, Ryanair emphasised that the decision has nothing to do with the agreement the company has with the Catalan Government. In fact, Cawley said that he was satisfied with this agreement.

Ryanair\u2019s Vice President stated that the Irish low-cost company pays \u20AC200 million per year to AENA in airport taxes. \u201CIt is stupid increasing airport taxes. We are AENA\u2019s largest client and cutting down Ryanair\u2019s activity will represent \u20AC30 million less in revenue, as well as a decrease in sales in airport shops and parking facilities\u201D, he underlined.

Cawley explained that Ryanair makes around 6 or 7 euros per passenger on average throughout its entire network. However, if AENA increases the airport taxes up to such levels, \u201Cit is no longer profitable to keep flights in those airports\u201D. \u201CWe have cheaper airports in other parts of Spain and in other countries, and a client is not willing to pay more for the same service\u201D, he continued. In this sense, Cawley accused AENA of increasing taxes only to increase its revenue, but not to improve the service.

No effects on Reus Airport

Ryanair\u2019s Vice President guaranteed that the airline\u2019s decision will have no effect on Reus Airport, near Tarragona (in southern Catalonia, next to the Costa Daurada). \u201CThe airport tax increase in Girona and Reus has only been 2%\u201D, explained Cawley to justify the decision to keep working with these two Catalan airports. In addition, he added that passenger traffic might even experience a small increase in Reus.

The investigation on Ryanair\u2019s emergency landings stated the company is safe

In addition, Cawley assured people that the investigation opened by the Spanish Transport Ministry regarding three emergency landings from last July in València Airport was closed  two months ago. The investigation concluded that Ryanair is a safe airline, emphasised Cawley. The company\u2019s Vice President explained that the flights were obliged not to land on Madrid Barajas and go on to València Manises. This is why they arrived with less fuel than usual, as the company\u2019s policy is to fly with the needed fuel and not more.

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  • One of Ryanair's planes in Girona Airport (by ACN)

  • Ryanair's Vice President, Michael Cawley, on Wednesday in Barcelona (by J. R. Torné)

  • One of Ryanair's planes in Girona Airport (by ACN)
  • Ryanair's Vice President, Michael Cawley, on Wednesday in Barcelona (by J. R. Torné)