Ryanair launches latest crusade

Ryanair launches latest crusade

Not content with taking on the European bureaucracy earlier this month, Michael O’Leary has now turned his ire on Alicante Airport.

The low-cost carrier said earlier it would cut 80 per cent of services from the location from October 2011 in response to a decision by the airport to introduce airbridges.

Ryanair claims the move will add €2 million in “unnecessary” costs each year.

The carrier will cut 31 routes, remove nine aircraft and offer 400 fewer flights as a result of the move.

Announcing cuts Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “It is time the AENA monopoly airports in Spain stopped abusing their dominant position to force airlines like Ryanair to use unnecessary facilities which we neither want, nor are willing to pay for.

“Alicante Airport has opened up a new terminal building which was not needed, and to pay for it, Alicante expects efficient airlines like Ryanair to now use the same inefficient and high cost airbridges that other high fare flag carrier airlines prefer to use.”

The latest battle follows a decision from the low-cost carrier to introduce a new €2 levy on all flights in order to meet the costs of flight cancellations, delays and its EU261 costs in ‘force majeure’ cases. 

In the last case Ryanair argues the new terminal at Alicante has exactly the same boarding gate stairs as the old terminal, which would allow Ryanair’s flights to continue to apply its walk on/walk off boarding facilities.

Ryanair argues the use of airbridges will significantly delay Ryanair turnarounds -because passengers can only use the front door - and will lead to more handling delays.