By Euro Weekly News Media • 14 April 2011 • 14:31
THE Alicante Provincial Government has warned that if Ryanair follows through with its threat it will slash flights from El Altet this Winter, ‘other airlines will take on the routes.’ These were the words of Provincial President, Joaquin Ripoll, commenting on the low cost airline’s statement it was to reduce flights from Alicante Airport from 600 to less than 200 a week from October.
This follows AENA Alicante’s decision to force Ryanair to use airbridges, and pay over €2m p.a. extra for these facilities.
Central Government Delegate for Alicante, Encarna Linares has appealed for ‘comon sense’ from the airline, adding that AENA “will do every possible effort to reach an agreement.”
Ryanair warned its cuts could produce more than 2,500 job losses at the airline’s Alicante base.
If they go ahead, the move is expected to reduce Ryanair passengers at Alicante from more than 4 million a year, to fewer than 1.5 million.
Ryanair has submitted a formal complaint about this “monopoly abuse” by AENA Alicante to both the Spanish Government and the European Commission.
Ryanair announced the following cuts at its Alicante base from October 2011: From 11 to 2 base aircraft (down 80 per cent); From 62 to 31 routes (loss of 31 routes); among others.
Ryanair believes that AENA Alicante should reconsider this decision to break its long standing agreement (since 2007) that Ryanair passengers may walk on/walk off when boarding aircraft and reverse this decision.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO, said: “It is time that the AENA monopoly airports in Spain stopped abusing their dominant position to force airlines like Ryanair to use unnecessary (airbridge) facilities which we neither want, nor are willing to pay for.
O’Leary added: “This abusive behaviour by AENA Alicante will now mean that the airport loses over €30m p.a. in revenues, more than 2.5m passengers and over 2,000 jobs, as Ryanair’s based aircraft and flights are cut by up to 80 per cent from October 2011.”
“We are not going to be bullied by an abusive airport monopoly” he added.
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