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Ryanair to cut flights to Alicante airport

Wed 6th Apr 2011

Ryaniar will slash flights to and from Alicante airport by almost 80% laer this year following a row with the Spanish airports authority, AENA, over increased charges.

The airline said it would cut the number of aircraft based at the airport from 11 to two, cutting the routes in half to 31 and reducing passengers from 4 million to 1.5 million.

The increased charges were due to AENA insiting that the airline uses landbridges at Alicante airport's new terminal, which opened last week. The use of the airbridges would result at an additional cost of €2 million per year.

Ryanair have flown from the airport for 4 years without using such bridges for boarding, and claimed that the decision was an abuse of AENA Alicante's monopoly and said it had submitted a formal complaint to the Spanish government and the European Commission.

Ryaniar is currentlythe airports busiest airline, but the reductions will result in the total number of flights dropping from 600 to less than 200 per week.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "Alicante airport has opened up a new terminal building which was not needed, and to pay for it, Alicante expects efficient airlines like Ryanair to now use the same inefficient and high-cost airbridges that other high-fare flag carrier airlines prefer to use.

"We are not going to be bullied by an abusive airport monopoly, or forced to pay €2 million extra for inefficient airbridges which neither we nor our passengers want."

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