Ryanair Issues Fare Increase Warning For Flights To Spain Next Summer

A Ryanair plane

Fares could increase if Aena raise charges. Credit: Jakub Petrymusz from Pixabay

RYANAIR has warned about a potential escalation in costs for trips to Spain if Aena, the Spanish airport operator, proceeds with its intention to raise airport fees next year.

Despite the Spanish Government’s ruling in 2021 to enforce a 5-year suspension on airport charges until 2027, Aena is suggesting an increment of 4.09 per cent in fees for airline usage of its 46 airports, starting from March 1, 2024.

This proposed rate hike requires approval from the Spanish Council of Ministers and the Spanish Regulator (CNMC).

Ryanair is concerned that this move could result in raised airfare prices for flights to Spain.

The Irish airline has formally filed an appeal against Aena’s actions, which it characterises as “an attempt to bypass the Spanish Government’s directive for a 5-year freeze on charges across Spanish airports”.

According to Ryanair, this directive was instrumental in Spain’s post-Covid recovery, fostering growth in Spanish connectivity, tourism, and employment, reported the Irish Mirror on Friday, August 18.

Eddie Wilson, the CEO of Ryanair DAC, commented, “Aena’s effort to sidestep the 5-year charge suspension set by the Spanish Government in 2021 contradicts the government’s growth-supportive policy.

The Spanish Government made a pragmatic choice during the pandemic’s peak to halt charges for five years at all Spanish airports, positioning Spain as one of Europe’s most competitive countries in attracting short-haul capacity, something that’s become increasingly scarce in Europe.”

Ryanair plane in flight
Ryanair warned of a price increase. Credit: HubertPhotographer from Pixabay

Wilson also emphasized that Spain’s post-Covid recovery led to greater capacity than in 2019, with Ryanair alone expanding its flights to Spain by 12 per cent this summer.

Ryanair’s concerns extend to the potential broad impact of Aena’s proposed fee increase, encompassing all airports in Spain, including crucial areas like the Canaries and Balearics.

These regions depend on air connectivity, and the potential charge increase poses a significant threat to Spanish tourism, rivaling the impact of Covid.

Ryanair is now urging the Spanish Council of Ministers and the Spanish Regulator (CNMC) to safeguard passengers and local economies by ensuring Aena abides by the Spanish Government’s 2021 ruling to freeze airport charges until 2027.

In response, Aena has defended its plans, stating its tariffs are “remarkably competitive” and notably lower than comparable European airports.

Aena attributes the proposed increase to inflation and “considerable cost rises beyond Aena’s control.”

A spokesperson from Aena said that airport fees are not a primary determinant of airline ticket prices.

The spokesperson also highlighted the incentives provided to airlines since the pandemic’s onset, resulting in discounts on airport charges totalling €125 million from July 2020 to March 2023.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.