Manchester airport has been dealt a body-blow after budget airline Ryanair announced that they were to end nine of their ten routes citing the charges that the airport made as the reason.
The airline stated on their website that Manchester airport "refused to lower its charges to reflect the lower fares being paid by passengers in the current recession". Ryanair have argued that they offered Manchester airport 28 weekly flights and 400,000 new passengers as an incentive to lower the prices they were asking for.
Unfortunately an agreement could not be reached and the withdrawl of nine of the Ryanair routes will see Ryanair end their services to and from Barcelona (Girona), Bremen, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Marseille, Milan (Bergamo) and Shannon. The date scheduled for the termination of services is reported to be the 1st of October 2009. The ending of these services unfortunately looks set to axe 400 jobs and threaten a 600,000 passengers a year drop for Manchester airport.
A recent new base opening at Leeds Bradford will no doubt see the budget carrier target more airports in the surrounding area such as Leeds Bradford, Liverpool and East Midlands. Speaking about the announcement Ryanair representative Stephen McNamara said;
"Ryanair will continue to grow at low cost airports which work with us to deliver the low fares required to keep passengers flying during this recession. Ryanair apologises to passengers affected by these cancellations and will contact them in the coming weeks to provide them with a full refund or a switch to similar flights to/from lower cost airports in the region.
A Manchester airport spokesperson reacted to the news on their website by saying;
"Not withstanding all of our investment in Manchester Airport including during the current recession, we dont believe that charges as low as three pounds per passenger are unreasonable. Clearly, Ryanair do and thats regrettable. Weve consistently cut our charges for the last 15 years even when faced with increased costs such as security. Passengers will still be able to travel directly to the majority of the destinations affected by choosing other airlines.
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