FEARS have been expressed that Ryanair is to pull Shannon as a base because of rising costs at the airport.
Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary is in Limerick this afternoon to make an announcement which is believed to be regarding the future of the airline’s operations at the airport.
Concerns have been expressed that Shannon could follow the same fate as Belfast City airport. Ryanair announced recently that it is closing its Belfast City base as it said a runway extension there is being delayed by further planning reviews.
Bloxham stockbrokers said Shannon Airport, where one Ryanair aircraft is based, could follow the same fate as Belfast after the airport authority raised charges there at the weekend.
Ryanair spokesmen refused to give any guidance yesterday on why Mr O’Leary is in Limerick today.
The airline however has claimed that it will pull flights at Shannon if the airport does not reduce rates.
Shannon Airport said that it increased charges by €1.58 which amounts to a 20% increase. However, Ryanair claim charges have gone up 33% at the airport.
Shannon said this is the first time in six years that charges have been increased at the airport and it brings it in line with other regional airports such as Cork, Knock, Aberdeen, Southampton and Porto.
Mr O’Leary has strongly criticised the charge, saying it would serve to decrease Shannon’s attractiveness to airlines at a time when its passenger numbers are falling.
He has also called on the Department of Transport to intervene and force the reversal of the price increase.
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