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Spain's airports authority challenges Ryanair on duty free purchases

Mon 11th Apr 2011

Ryaniar are once again at loggerheads with the Spanish airport authority, AENA, with the later insisting that the airline must comply with new rules that state passengers' rights to carry a bag on any flight in addition to their handluggage, that contains duty free purchases.

The Spanish government recently introduced a new law which bans airlines from enforcing one peice of hand luggage. Ryanair in particular is notorious for making passengers pay extra to take any duty free purchase on board that they can not fit inside their handluggage.

AENA's Director of Commercial Services & Properties spoke to the press at Alicante Airport on Friday, commenting: "We are very happy with our partnership with Ryanair, which represents 27% of AENA's passenger traffic today. They bring much growth to our airports, but they also introduce conditions that can make doing business difficult. The one-bag rule has had a big impact on sales.

"With this new law, passengers are allowed to take an extra bag with purchases onto their flights. We have communicated strongly to Ryanair that they must obey the rules. When we told them, they said they would comply with Irish law rather than Spanish law, but we said that this was not acceptable, and we repeated that they must follow the rules in place at Spain's airports."

He continued: "AENA and the Spanish government are not seeking conflict but we will defend passengers' rights to the end. Also, the airlines are asking us to reduce their landing charges, but AENA needs to grow its commercial revenues to do this – and that is made more difficult by restricting passengers to one bag. We cannot grow our commercial business and lower airline fees at the same time."

This new issue further complicates Ryanair's relationship with AENA, when their insitance that the airline uses airbridges for boarding of all flights , resulted in a threat of cutting almost 80% of all flights to and from the airport from the end of the summer.

The Director of Alicante airport, Santiago Martínez-Cava Arenas, said how talks with Ryanair will continue, and that he was confident of a resolution. He noted that airlines were charged around €0.30 per passenger to use the air bridges, and said this was not a high price to pay for any airline, low-cost or otherwise.

Ryanair currently accounts for almost one-third of all traffic at the airport.

Comment on this Story

Balls to Ryanair
Collie - Tue, 7th Aug 2012

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