Ryanair to cut 11 Madrid routes
Ryanair is to cancel 11 routes from Madrid and four from Barcelona, as well as making deep cuts in flights and frequencies from both airports.
It said the cuts were in response to the Spanish government's doubling of airport departure taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona El Prat on July 1st.
Ryanair say it objected to the “extortionate” tax increases, claiming they were particularly damaging to Spanish tourism, jobs and the economy at a time when Spanish youth unemployment stands at 50 per cent.
In Madrid, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary claimed the cuts alone would cause a “combined loss of 2.3 million passengers and over 2,000 jobs at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports to other lower cost airports elsewhere in Europe, where Ryanair continues to grow”.
The reductions will take place from November.
Madrid winter closures include routes to Manchester, Frankfurt and Verona while Barcelona to East Midlands and Barcelona to Leeds Bradford will also be closed.
Mr O’Leary said the cuts could potentially be reversed but only if the Spanish government and Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) “reverse the tax increases and cuts its high airport charges”.