Ryanair is closing its servicing from Blackpool Airport, citing the introduction of an Airport Development Fee.
The low-cost carrier will close its Blackpool routes to/from Dublin (daily) and Barcelona (Girona - three per week) from 4 January - the day before the development fee begins. This fee will be levied on all passengers, and Ryanair argues it will substantially increase the cost of travel through an airport which is totally dependent on low fares for its passenger traffic.
Commenting on the situation today, Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley said: “This is a black day for Blackpool International Airport. The management’s decision, against Ryanair’s advice, to introduce an Airport Development Fee is an extremely regressive step which inevitably involves a massive increase in the cost of travel for passengers through the airport. With so much choice for passengers in the locality, this increased cost is unsustainable and Ryanair is regrettably announcing the withdrawal of all its services to both Dublin and Barcelona (Girona) from the airport with effect from the 4th January 2009.
He continued: “The route to successful passenger numbers and successful airports is not through increasing charges for passengers, but rather the reverse, reducing fares and reducing costs at airports which in turn drive passenger traffic and boost economic activity. With this step the management at Blackpool Airport have severely dented the economic prospects for the region which this airport serves and we call on them to reverse this decision immediately while there is still time to save the airport”.
Ryanair has carried over 1.3 million passengers through Blackpool since it began operating in May 2003.