Ryanair slashes winter capacity at Stansted
Ryanair has announced a 40% capacity cutback in its winter schedule from London Stansted, set to start in October 2009.
Ryanair operated 40 aircraft from Stansted during the summer, but will reduce this to 24 aircraft (i.e. by 40%) this winter with a 30% reduction in the number of weekly flights and a loss of 2.5 milion passengers at Stansted between October and March 2010.
Ryanair gave three major reasons for the cuts: "BAA Stansted is one of Ryanair’s two most expensive bases (Dublin is the other) and the BAA has rejected Ryanair’s calls for deep cuts in these high passenger fees this winter; the UK Government will increase its £10 tourist tax (APD) to £11 in November despite the continuing traffic and tourism collapse (down 6% in June) at BAA’s UK airports; and the BAA monopoly continues to increase airport charges as traffic falls and the BAA delays the sale of Gatwick and Stansted airports."
Announcing the cutback at Stansted, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary remarked, “Sadly UK traffic and tourism continues to collapse while Ryanair continues to grow traffic rapidly in those countries which welcome tourists instead of taxing them. Ryanair’s 40% capacity cutback at London Stansted shows just how much Gordon Brown’s £10 tourist tax and the BAA monopoly’s high airport charges are damaging London and UK tourism and the British economy generally.
“In recent months the Belgian, Dutch, Greek and Spanish governments have all scrapped tourist taxes and/or reduced airport charges to zero in order to stimulate tourism. These cutbacks underline the urgent need to: (a) break-up the high cost BAA airport monopoly (as recommended by the Competition Commission), and (b) scrap Gordon Brown’s insane and damaging £10 tourist tax which has caused UK traffic to collapse.”