Ryanair, the world’s favourite airline, today (15th Feb) confirmed the cancelation of its five year extension agreement at Barcelona Girona Airport, which was originally announced in December 2010, as the new Government of Catalonia has refused to honour its agreement with Ryanair.
In December 2010 Ryanair and the Government of Catalonia reached agreement on a five year extension of its base operation at Girona Airport under which Ryanair agreed to base 11 aircraft at Girona, operate 64 routes and deliver 4m passengers p.a. which would sustain up to 4,000 jobs in and around Girona Airport. However, the new Government has refused to honour the agreement despite being consulted on it by the outgoing Government.
Ryanair will, from the end of February, reduce its Girona operations by five aircraft, close 18 (of 64) routes and reduce frequencies on 17 other routes, with the loss of over 100 weekly flights, which will see Ryanair’s Girona traffic fall from 4m to 2.3m p.a. with the loss of up to 1,700 local jobs. Ryanair regrets the failure of the new Catalonia Government to honour its five year extension agreement with Spain’s largest airline, at a time when it should be trying to grow jobs and tourism in Catalonia. Ryanair will now switch these five aircraft to lower cost airports elsewhere in Europe.
Speaking in Barcelona, Ryanair’s Michael Cawley said:
“Ryanair sincerely regrets that the new Government of Catalonia has failed to honour the recent five year extension of our base agreement at Girona Airport despite the fact that it was consulted on its detail by the outgoing Government. Sadly this will lead to significant traffic and job losses at Girona instead of 4m passengers and the 4,000 local jobs which would have been sustained had the Catalonia Government implemented the agreement which was concluded in December 2010.
Ryanair will now switch five aircraft from Girona with the loss of 18 routes, over 100 weekly flights, 1.7m passengers p.a. and 1,700 jobs to other airports elsewhere in Europe. It is a remarkable achievement by the new government to have caused such job and tourism losses within weeks of taking office. However, while this is a significant loss for Girona, Ryanair will continue to grow at other lower cost airports in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.”