Ryanair is temporarily closing operations at a number of airports in winter as part of its cost cutting measurs. Between 4 November and 19 December the low-cost carrier is grounding flights to Basel, Budapest, Krakow, Palma, Rzeszow, Salzburg and Valencia.It blamed the closure on high costs at these airports which it says far outweigh the potential revenue which passengers are prepared to pay, particularly during the off peak winter period.
High fuel prices also means highlighted a flaw in the low-cost model as must carriers need to cut routes in off-peak winter when fares are very low.
Ryanair confirmed that it had written to the airports seeking a reduction on the costs of these flights this winter.
Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley, said; “We very much regret temporarily closing our operations at these airports during this November and December period. However, a combination of high airport charges and the massive increases which we face in fuel prices, makes it more profitable for Ryanair to ground aircraft rather than fly them at these airports during this period.”
“These flights the passengers would not be lost to these cities or tourism if they had responded adequately to Ryanair’s proposals for cost reductions on these flights for the winter season.”
“Ryanair, with the lowest costs and lowest guaranteed fares in Europe, is the only airline capable of retaining year round international tourism and business links for such regional cities. However, low airport costs and local support are required to sustain these operations, particularly through the low yielding months in the winter. In the absence of this support, Ryanair has no alternative but to cancel these routes and develop its business elsewhere.”
“We will continue our discussions with the airport authorities in order to convince them that this type of interruption to our services need not happen in the future if costs are reduced and hopefully we can develop an agreement on how they can support the year round continuation of our services on a viable basis for the benefit of the airports and the regions they serve”.