Ryanair cuts jobs and flights at Liverpool Airport
Ryanair is cutting flights and traffic at Liverpool Airport, as the combination of high and rising government airport passenger duty (APD), allied with falling Sterling exchange rates have had a devastating impact on traffic and tourism at Liverpool Airport.
Ryanair confirmed that the government APD makes the UK and Liverpool a higher cost destination and renders it uncompetitive against other European cities/countries, where airports are lowering costs and Governments are welcoming tourists, not taxing them. Ryanair's traffic continues to grow at airports where governments do not impose such taxes as demonstrated by Ryanair's 11% traffic growth in January 2009.
Ryanair today announced substantial reductions in its base at Liverpool Airport for the summer 2009 schedule including:
* A 14% cut in Liverpool based aircraft (7 to 6).
* A 14% cut in weekly rotations for summer 09 (from 189 to 163).
* An 8% drop in Ryanair's Liverpool traffic from 2.7m in 2008 to 2.5m pax in 2009/10.
* The loss of 50 jobs among pilots, cabin crew and engineers.
* Further cuts in Ryanair's winter schedule at Liverpool will be announced later.
Announcing these Liverpool cutbacks, Ryanair's Deputy CEO Michael Cawley said: "The combination of the high cost government APD and falls in Sterling has already created a traffic collapse at Liverpool Airport.
"The decision by the UK Government to continue to impose high APD charges and increase them over the next two years is completely unacceptable given the current economic climate.
"Ryanair has repeatedly called for this tax to be scrapped by highlighting that such travel taxes have failed in both the UK and Dutch markets, where they immediately resulted in traffic declines and sadly these declines look set to continue. This Government must realise you can only promote tourism by welcoming visitors, not taxing them.
"These cuts can and will be reversed if the Government's greedy APD is scrapped - only then can we grow passenger traffic at Liverpool and throughout the UK."