THE President of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, announced the airline will cancel flights to 31 destinations from
The low-cost airline will remove nine of its 11 planes – or 80 per cent – at the airport over the disagreement regarding the use of airbridges at the terminal, according to Spanish daily Europa Press.
The cancellation of the direct flights will result in two million fewer passengers a year, which O’Leary says will lead to €30 million in lost revenue per year for AENA.
It will also mean the loss of 2,000 jobs.
The Ryanair boss said had the row over airbridges not arisen, only 10 destinations would have been cancelled for the winter, and that now, the company only plans to bring back 50 per cent of the cancelled flights for next summer.
The cancelled routes are Aarhus, Bournemouth,
Meanwhile the frequency of flights have been cut to Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Madrid, Manchester, Sevilla, and among others.
Spanish airports authority AENA insists passengers must board and disembark from planes via airbridges, at an annual cost of €2 million to Ryanair.
The airline demanded they be allowed to board and disembark on foot, as ‘previously agreed in their contract’. AENA carried out a study and conceded that for ‘safety’ reasons this could be done only in winter when air traffic is much lower.
However, Ryanair maintains that safety has nothing to do with the matter and that AENA wants to recover the money invested in El Altet Airport’s new terminal.
By Jennifer Leighfield