Ryanair announced (29-Jun-2010) plans to reduce UK winter capacity by 16% from Nov-2010, with the carrier stating the decision will result in the loss of more than 2 million passengers at UK airports over winter 2010 on a year-on-year basis. At London Stansted, winter capacity will be reduced by 17% from Nov-2010. Ryanair will base 22 aircraft at Stansted in winter, a reduction from 24 the previous winter, with 135 fewer weekly frequencies and a loss of up to 1.5 million passengers at Stansted between Nov-2010 and Mar-2011. The LCC will also reduce winter capacity at most of its other UK bases, with the exception of Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford. The LCC added that the decision relates to the UK Government’s GBP11 tourist tax which “continues to damage British traffic, tourism and jobs”. Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary, added the decision could save the carrier approximately GBP10 million (Reuters, 29-Jun-2010). [more]
Ryanair: “Sadly, UK traffic and tourism continues to collapse while Ryanair continues to grow rapidly in those countries which welcome tourists instead of taxing them. Ryanair’s 16% UK capacity cutback, 17% cut at Stansted, shows just how much the UK’s tourist tax and the BAA’s high airport charges are damaging UK tourism and the British economy generally. Independent capacity analysis shows that growth has returned to the Belgian, Dutch and Spanish markets after their governments scrapped tourist taxes and/or reduced airport charges, in some cases to zero, in order to stimulate tourism and jobs. Today’s cutbacks underline the urgent need to, (a) break-up the high cost BAA airport monopoly (as recommended by the Competition Commission) and (b) scrap the damaging GBP11 tourist tax which has caused UK traffic to collapse over the past two years,” Michael O’Leary, CEO. Source: Company Statement, 29-Jun-2010.