Ryanair to close Manchester routes and axe 600
Budget airline Ryanair is to close or switch nine of its 10 routes from Manchester airport, citing the airport’s refusal to lower its charges.
The measures will lead to 600 job losses within the area and the loss of 60,000 passengers a year.
However, Manchester airport highlighted that the 600 jobs will be switched to other airports.
Passengers who are affected by today’s announcement will be emailed and given the choice of their money back of flying from a “lower cost airport”, i.e East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool, said Ryanair.
According to the airline, Manchester airport was offered an additional 28 weekly flights and 400,000 new passengers and if the airport would have “reduced its high charges”, then 400 new jobs would have been created.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair continues to lower fares to encourage travel, but with passengers paying lower fares airports must lower their charges – particularly high-cost airports like Manchester, Stansted and Dublin.”
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport described the decision as “regrettable” and added that “it did not believe that charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable”.
The nine routes from Manchester that will close are those to Barcelona (Girona), Bremen, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Marseille, Milan (Bergamo) and Shannon, and will cease from 1 October.
Last month, a dispute with airport owner, BAA, led Ryanair to reduce its services at Stansted Airport.
The airline said it would cut the number of aircraft it runs at the Essex airport by 40% in its winter schedule, and will slash the number of flights by 30%, blaming higher charges.
The reduction means the airline will be reducing the number of passengers it carries by 2.5 million between October and March.