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Ryanair to drastically cut Alicante operations

6-Apr-2011 11:14 AM

Ryanair announced (05-Apr-2011) deep cuts of up to 80% of services at its Alicante base from Oct-2011. The LCC said it made the decision following AENA's decision to "force Ryanair to use aerobridges" at a cost of EUR2 million p/a. Ryanair said it has been operating for over five years at Alicante with aerobridges and added AENA's decision "is an abuse of its monopoly". The LCC has submitted a formal complaint about this "monopoly abuse" to the Spanish Government and European Commission. Ryanair stated the new terminal at Alicante has the same boarding gate stairs as the old terminal, which would allow Ryanair’s services to continue to apply its walk on/walk off boarding facilities. The use of bridges would "significantly" delay Ryanair turnarounds and lead to more handling delays and increased costs. The following changes will be made to Ryanair's Alicante base: [more]

  • reduce Alicante-based aircraft from 11 to 2;
  • reduce network from 62 to 31 routes;
  • reduce weekly services from more than 600 to less than 200;
  • reduce annual passenger traffic from more than 4.0 million to 1.5 million;
  • Ryanair expects these cuts to result in the loss of more than 2500 local jobs in Alicante's tourism industry.

Ryanair: "As a direct result of forcing this EUR2 million p/a airbridge use on Ryanair, AENA Alicante will now lose over EUR18 million p/a in passenger and turnaround fees from Ryanair and at least a further EUR12 million in lost commercial revenues from the 2.5 million fewer passengers which Ryanair will now deliver. Ryanair believes that AENA Alicante should reconsider this decision to break its long standing agreement (since 2007) that Ryanair passengers may walk on/walk off when boarding aircraft and reverse this decision to force Ryanair to use airbridges and pay EUR2 million p/a." Company Statement, 05-Apr-2011.

Ryanair: "It is time that the AENA monopoly airports in Spain stopped abusing their dominant position to force airlines like Ryanair to use unnecessary (airbridge) facilities which we neither want, nor are willing to pay for. Alicante Airport has opened up a new terminal building which was not needed, and to pay for it, Alicante expects efficient airlines like Ryanair to now use the same inefficient and high cost airbridges that other high fare flag carrier airlines prefer to use." Michael O’Leary, CEO. Source: Company Statement, 05-Apr-2011.