Ryanair announces cuts in UK winter capacity, citing costs

Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair has announced its plans to slash winter capacity in Britain by 16 per cent.

Budget airline’s chief executive Michael O’Leary blamed higher taxes in Britain for the potential cuts and added that they would shift aircrafts to other European countries such as Spain, which impose lower passenger taxes and offer cheaper airports.

Speaking on the topic, Mr. O’Leary said, “Today’s cutbacks underline the urgent need to break-up the high cost BAA airport monopoly and scrap the damaging £11 tourist tax which has caused UK traffic to collapse over the past two years.”

The airline would make 17 per cent reduction in services at Stansted airport, which will handle 1.5 million fewer passengers during winter this year than last year. The cuts will possibly throw as many as 2,500 people out of jobs at Stansted airport.

Cuts in winter flights will be made at almost all Ryanair’s UK bases. Only Leeds, Edinburg and Bradford will not see cuts in flights.

Mr. O’Leary said that the airline would save as much as £10 million by shifting just two aircraft away from Stansted.