By Euro Weekly News Media • 21 July 2011 • 13:51
LOW cost airline Ryanair will carry out its threat to reduce flights out of Alicante’s El Altet airport by 80 per cent from October, the company said in a statement. This follows a disagreement over the use of airbridges at the terminal.
Spanish airports authority insists passengers must board and disembark from planes via airbridges, at an annual cost of €2 million to Ryanair. The airline demanded passengers continue to be allowed to board and disembark on foot, as ‘previously agreed in their contract’.
In response AENA carried out a study and conceded some passengers could do so, but for ‘safety’ reasons only in winter when air traffic is much lower. Ryanair spokesman Stephan McNamara reportedly said he rejected the findings which he described as ‘false’. “Ryanair plans to cur the routes and flights in Alicante by 80 per cent from this winter,” he said.
“This way one will be able to see the impact of the abusive decision by AENA to force Ryanair to use and pay for the costly and unnecessary airbridges.” McNamara said the company will study this impact until the end of the summer 2012, or until the airbridges restrictions in Alicante are lifted completely.
The airline does not believe that a procedure that is “safe” during the winter months “mysteriously” becomes “dangerous” during the summer “using exactly the same criteria.” Ryanair announced that they will take “legal action” to prove that embarking and disembarking at El Altet during the summer months is safe.
“Until now we have been boarding passengers in this way at El Altet airport with no problem and use this method in more than 140 airports in Spain and Europe all year round,” said Mr McNamara.
By Nicole Hallett
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