Ryanair confirmed (20-Jul-2012) deep cuts to its services at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat this winter in response to the Spanish Government doubling airport departure taxes at both airports on 01-Jul-2012. From Nov-2012, Ryanair will make the following reductions in Madrid and Barcelona:
- Three aircraft cut (from 14 to 11);
- 11 routes cancelled;
- 24 route frequency cuts;
- 252 weekly services cut;
- 1.3 million passengers lost as annual traffic is expected to decline from 5.3 million to 4 million;
- 1300 local jobs lost.
- Barcelona El Prat:
- Two aircraft cut (from 13 to 11);
- Four routes cancelled;
- 22 route frequency cuts;
- 240 weekly flights cut;
- 1 million passengers expected to be lost as annual traffic declines from 5.4 million to 4.4 million;
- 1000 local jobs lost.
Ryanair said the "cuts are the unavoidable response to the Spanish Govt’s doubling of airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports. These extortionate tax increases are particularly damaging to Spanish tourism, jobs and the economy at a time when Spanish youth unemployment stands at an alarming 50%". Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “Ryanair objects to the Spanish Govt’s decision to double airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona airports. Sadly, this will lead to severe traffic, tourism and job cuts at both airports this winter. Ryanair’s cuts alone will cause a combined loss of 2.3m passengers and over 2,000 jobs at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports to other lower cost airports elsewhere in Europe, where Ryanair continues to grow. These route and traffic cuts can be reversed but only when the Spanish Govt and its airports monopoly AENA reverse these tax increases and cuts its high airport charges.” [more - original PR]