Ryanair is to reduce the number of routes it serves out of Manchester from ten to just one destination (Dublin), blaming the airport’s refusal to lower its charges.
The carrier says it will either close the existing routes from October 1, or move them to lower cost competitor airports such as East Midlands, Liverpool or Leeds Bradford (where Ryanair recently announced it is creating a base – see online news August 12).
The routes affected are Barcelona (Girona), Bremen, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Marseille, Milan (Bergamo) and Shannon, totalling 44 weekly flights. This will leave Dublin as the only route served by Ryanair from Manchester.
The airline says it “offered Manchester an additional 28 weekly flights and 400,000 new passengers which would have created 400 new jobs if the airport reduced its high charges”, but that Manchester airport rejected the offer. In response the airport has released the following statement:
“Not withstanding all of our investment in Manchester Airport including during the current recession, we don’t believe that charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable. Clearly, Ryanair do and that’s regrettable.
“We’ve consistently cut our charges for the last 15 years even when faced with increased costs such as security.
“Passengers will still be able to travel directly to the majority of the destinations affected by choosing other airlines.”
Report by Mark Caswell