Ryanair to reduce Barcelona and Madrid flights after tax increase
Ryanair is to cut its flight schedules to and from Madrid and Barcelona in response to Spanish government tax increases. It says the cuts are in response to a doubling this month by the government of airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona’s El Prat.
Some 15 routes to and from the airports will be cancelled under the move, while the frequency of flights to and from a further 46 destinations will be reduced. The cuts, impacting 490 flights weekly, will take effect from November.
The frequency of flights to and from Dublin and Barcelona’s El Prat airport will be reduced from 14 a week to 10.
Speaking in Madrid, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary estimated the cuts would bring about the loss of 2.3 million passengers and more than 2,000 jobs at the two Spanish airports.
“These route and traffic cuts can be reversed but only when the Spanish government and its airports monopoly AENA reverse these tax increases and cuts its high airport charges,” he said.
Ryanair called the increases “extortionate” and damaging to tourism at a time when Spanish youth unemployment stands at an “alarming 50 per cent”.