Ryanair scraps nine non-viable routes

RYANAIR is scrapping nine routes where seat-sells are less than 80% of capacity and reallocating aircraft to new ones.

The flights being shut are mainly to Nordic countries and are out of London Stansted, Stockholm and Frankfurt.

The new routes are from London, Stockholm, Frankfurt and from Brussels Charleroi airport.

Making the announcement in Brussels yesterday Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the Nordic market was not mature enough and that all the routes to be closed had load factors less than the 80% Raynair average.

The routes from Sweden’s Skavsta to Oslo in Norway; Tampere in Finland and Arhus in Denmark will end from January 14. Also closing will be four flights from London to Ostend in

Belgium and Maastricht and to Reims and Clermont in France.

The four new daily routes from Stansted will be to Linz in Austria; Bari in Italy; Erfurt in Germany; Jerez in Spain and from Brussels’ Charleroi to Calladolid in Spain.

Skavsta, a small Swedish airport, will have new flights to Rome and Milan.

There will be two new services from Frankfurt Hahn to Tampere in Finland and Reus in Spain.

Mr O’Leary repeated his call on the European Commission to rule in favour of Charleroi Airport in the complaint that they had given State aid to Ryanair. “Low fares are serving the needs of consumers and helping to develop under-utilised secondary and regional airports. We call on the EC to rule in favour of Brussels Charleroi.”

A spokesperson for the commission said he expected the decision would not be available until January. “It is not on next Wednesday’s agenda and is unlikely to be on the agenda for their last meeting before Christmas.”

The decision was originally due in September and the long delay is due to the sensitivity of the decision into an area of EU law not explored before.

Whatever the EC decision, it is expected to be repealed to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg either by Ryanair if the decision goes against them or by other major airlines if the findings favour Charleroi airport.

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