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Stansted airport responds to Ryanair cutbacks

[July 18th 2008]

Airport operator BAA has responded to low cost airline Ryanair’s decision to reduce flights from Stansted airport this winter.

Ryanair has announced a 14% cutback in flights from Stansted over the winter which it believes will reduce the number of passengers using the airport by 900,000. It said it had written to BAA Stansted offering to operate these flights “in return for a substantial discount on airport charges applicable to these flights for the winter season”, but its request had been dismissed.

The budget airline says Stansted is the most expensive of the 28 airports it flies from and accuses “the BAA airport monopoly” of increasing airport charges “by 15% this year on top of a 100% increase last year”.

“Surely, this is a time for our industry to pull together, not spat with each other by press release. We have met with Ryanair to discuss how best to help each other in the months ahead, and we look forward to continuing to do so in coming weeks,” a BAA Stansted spokesperson said in response.

“Numbers and statistics have been banded around – many of which we simply don’t recognise,” the spokesperson continued. “Cost cutting and improved efficiency is key; and Ryanair is already laying-off staff at Stansted as they introduce self-service check-in,” they added.

Not surprisingly, BAA Stansted has welcomed Ryanair’s decision to launch new flights from the airport this winter. On 27th October Ryanair will begin weekly flights to Katowice in Poland, followed on 28th October by flights three times a week to the winter sun destinations of Malaga, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Ibiza. Flights to Basel in Switzerland start on 21st December.

Written by: Nick Purdom