Ryanair’s dispute with Italy’s ENAC widens – Airport Share Wrap

Ryanair has announced plans to temporarily cease operating domestic routes to/from its ten Italian bases Alghero, Bari, Bologna, Brindisi, Cagliari, Milan (Bergamo), Pescara, Pisa, Rome (Ciampino), and Trapani from 23-Jan-2010, following the lifting of Ryanair’s injunction against Italian civil aviation regulator, ENAC, which require Ryanair to accept various “unsecure forms of ID” for domestic flights, according to the LCC.

The airline stated that these IDs comprise “nothing more than fishing licences” and since it operates a 100% web check-in policy, Ryanair passengers agree at the time of booking that they will produce either a passport or an EU/EEA National ID card at the boarding gate prior to the boarding of their flight. The LCC noted “these safety and security procedures have worked satisfactorily for many years across all of Ryanair’s 1,000 routes for both domestic and international flights throughout the European Union”.

Ryanair has called on all passengers to complain to ENAC directly and said the move to restore the flights would occur only if the airline “can be certain that the safety and security of its operations will not be undermined by ENAC’s unlawful interference”.

ENAC appears unmoved, stating Ryanair would have to pay penalties if it temporarily suspends the domestic services. Societa Aeroporto Toscano, which operates Pisa Airport, stated Ryanair had a contractual obligation to meet certain passenger targets.

Airport investors also seemed unperturbed. Societa Aeroporto Toscano’s shares rose 5.3% on 28-Dec-2009, while Aeroporti di Firenze added 0.4%.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 28-Dec-09