Ryanair drops nine of 10 Manchester routes
From 1 October, Ryanair will either switch or close nine of its 10 Manchester routes to competitor airports which it says have lower costs – East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool.
According to the airline, the decision came after Manchester Airport "refused to lower its charges to reflect the lower fares being paid by passengers in the current recession". This move will result in the loss of 44 weekly Manchester flights, 600,000 passengers p.a. and up to 600 local jobs.
Ryanair reports that it had offered Manchester an additional 28 weekly flights and 400,000 new passengers which would have created 400 new jobs if the airport reduced its charges. "Manchester Airport rejected this offer and Ryanair’s Manchester routes to/from Barcelona (Girona), Bremen, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Marseille, Milan (Bergamo) and Shannon will cease from 1 October. Passengers affected will be e-mailed directly by Ryanair and provided with a full refund or the alternative of flying to some destinations from competing, lower cost airports in East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool," the carrier's press release stated.
Manchester Airport countered Ryanair's argument by stating, “Notwithstanding all of our investment in Manchester Airport including during the current recession, we don’t believe that charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable. Clearly, Ryanair do and that’s regrettable.
“We’ve consistently cut our charges for the last 15 years even when faced with increased costs such as security. Passengers will still be able to travel directly to the majority of the destinations affected by choosing other airlines.”