Ryanair to cut routes to Spain over airport tax increase

Ruth Doherty


Ryanair is to close 15 routes to Spain following a row over airport tax increases.

The move will see 11 routes to Madrid and four to Barcelona El Prat scrapped following the government's decision to double taxes at both airports, which came into effect earlier this month.

According to the Telegraph, the cuts include three UK routes: Manchester to Madrid, East Midlands to Barcelona and Leeds Bradford to Barcelona El Prat.

Ryanair will also reduce capacity on 24 routes from Madrid and another 22 at Barcelona; these frequency reductions include routes from El Prat to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Dublin.

The reduction to services, which will add up to 492 fewer fights each week, will be made from November.

According to Air & Business Travel News, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said: "Ryanair objects to the Spanish government'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 more than 2,000 jobs at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports to other lower-cost airports elsewhere in Europe, where Ryanair continues to grow."

The news comes a month after Easyjet announced it would close its base at Madrid this winter, with the higher airport taxes given as one of the reasons for the decision.

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