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Air duty may reduce Ryanair JLA services

BUDGET airline Ryanair is considering whether to cut routes from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) in the wake of this week’s pre- Budget statement.

The airline yesterday said it could be forced to scale back its services from Liverpool following changes to Air Passenger Duty announced by chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday.

At a specially-called press conference at JLA, airline chief operating officer Michael Cawley lashed out at the tax hikes, saying fewer passengers would book flights in the UK as ticket costs rise.

Ryanair hopes to grow its total passenger numbers by another 10m in 2009, but Mr Cawley said that growth was likely to be in countries with more favourable tax regimes.

Mr Cawley warned routes from Liverpool could be cut and aircraft currently stationed there shifted from the Speke aerodrome.

Airlines currently pay Air Passenger Duty at £10 per passenger in economy class flying to European destinations. That rises to £40 for longer journeys.

Monday’s pre-Budget report introduced three new bands. The starting level will be £11 on tickets to destinations within 2,000 miles of London, £45 for flights of up to 6,000 miles and £55 above that.

Airlines had hoped for a reduction of the tax to ease the economic burdens.

Mr Cawley said yesterday: “This a grievous mistake. It’s going to have a huge ramifications for airports, principally in regional Britain, but also in London.

“This certainly affects the number of routes we will have and the number of aircraft we have here.

“£11 or £12 next year is a significant issue. APD of euro13 is about 13% of our average fare and they’re adding another 10% to that now and another 10% the following year.

“Passenger travel will decline. When you put up fares demand goes down. It’s a very crude and non- discriminatory tax.”

He said it was too early to say how drastic cuts at JLA might be but the airline will have made up its mind in “five or six weeks”.

He added: “If the Government puts their hand in our pocket for another pound, there are cheaper airports elsewhere from where you can fly. We will support governments that won’t penalise aviation.”

Mr Cawley said he suspected “not a penny” from APD, billed as a green tax, was being invested in environmental projects.

Industry watchers have warned Liverpool JLA could see a repeat of the situation when VLM – who operated a five-times daily service to London City Airport – pulled out of Merseyside.

The airline left shortly after the Government doubled APD from £5 to £10. The improved rail link to Euston station was also blamed.

Mr Crawley is due to meet with directors of owners Peel Airports in the coming weeks to discuss next summer’s schedule.

Robin Tudor, spokesperson for JLA, said the airport “shared Ryanair’s frustrations”.

Mr Tudor said: “We are very strongly against some of these changes. Increasing [APD] yet again could well have an impact on the demand for air transport.

“At a time when the Government is encouraging the consumer to spend, why is the airline industry being targeted for increases to the consumer?

“We’re frustrated and will continue to lobby the Government over the issue of taxation.”

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Liverpool adds Ibiza route

Ryanair has disclosed that it will begin operating a service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Ibiza from the end of next month.

The budget airline is offering passengers in the north-west the opportunity to travel on its three-times a week service to the Spanish party-destination from March 30 2009 for just £32 one-way.

Specifically, flights will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, joining 40 other routes that Ryanair currently schedules from Liverpool Airport.

John Booty, Ryanair sales and marketing manager, was "delighted" to announce this service.

He said: "This is a fantastic sunshine route and we expect seats to be snapped up fast." Robin Tudor, head of PR at Peel Airports Group, described the introduction of a new route from Liverpool as "particularly pleasing" given the current economic climate.

Ibiza is renowned as the European home of clubbing; however, the island is also popular with families, as it has a number of secluded areas.

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One minute they are suggesting that they're going to close routes because of the government tax hike then in the next breath they announce new routes. It's hard to take anything they say as credible these days.
 

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Ryanair to cut jobs and flights

Ten routes are being cancelled from Liverpool this summer

Ryanair has announced 50 jobs are to go and 10 routes are being cancelled at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The budget airline said rising Air Passenger Duty (APD) and falling sterling exchange rates have led to a "collapse" in traffic at Liverpool.

Ryanair is to operate six aircraft from the airport instead of seven, a move which it says will result in 200,000 fewer passengers this year.

Routes to Budapest and Paris are among those taken off this summer's schedule.

Ryanair's Michael Cawley said: "The combination of the high cost government APD and falls in sterling has already created a traffic collapse at Liverpool Airport.

You can only promote tourism by welcoming visitors, not taxing them

Michael Cawley, Ryanair

"The decision by the UK government to continue to impose high APD charges and increase them over the next two years is completely unacceptable given the current economic climate.

"Ryanair has repeatedly called for this tax to be scrapped by highlighting that such travel taxes have failed in both the UK and Dutch markets, where they immediately resulted in traffic declines and, sadly, these declines look set to continue.

"This government must realise you can only promote tourism by welcoming visitors, not taxing them."

Flights to Budapest, Faro, Paris, Friedrichshafen, Gdansk, Lodz, Salzburg, Santiago, Szczecin and Valencia have been cancelled this summer.

The airline said more cuts to its winter schedule would be announced in due course.

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TheLocalYokel

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I can't think that Liverpool Airport is any worse than other UK regional airports in seeing a drop in traffic so what does this mean for them and in particular what does it mean for Ryanair?

It seems the UK market is problematical because of the exchange rate although that should be an encouragement to inbound travellers.

Again, I feel this is more to do with Ryanair's inability to screw Liverpool even more tightly and will probably be considered by Ryanair as a warning to other airports.

Therein lies the rub. If airports don't comply they will lose a much-needed route network even though they may be making little out of it. The alternative is no route network with nothing made out of it. I posted elsewhere that Cardiff is a good example of an airport standing up to Ryanair but it has paid the penalty because of a relative paucity of routes.......................by anyone.

However, if all airports stand up to Ryanair the airline will have a problem with deploying their burgeoning fleet of new aircraft. It's a game of aviation poker.
 

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TheLocalYokel said:
However, if all airports stand up to Ryanair the airline will have a problem with deploying their burgeoning fleet of new aircraft. It's a game of aviation poker.
Aviation poker. :nea: Is that the new term for an airline (namely Ryanair :spiteful: ) playing one airport off against another?
 

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One of the things that bugs me is that the other week Ryanair announced new flights from Bristol and this week they cancel flights from Liverpool blaming APD. This excuse for dropping flights is starting to look pathetic now even if Ryanair does have a point. I wonder where they're going to place all the aircraft they've pulled from airports over the last few months?
 

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Jobs fears as Ryanair moves to axe check-in desks at Liverpool John Lennon airport

AIRLINE Ryanair plans to axe all its check-in desks at Liverpool John Lennon airport by October in a bid to cut costs.

The move could lead to job losses at handling agent Servisair which provides check-in staff for the airport’s biggest carrier.

Ryanair aims to dispense with check-in desks throughout all the European airports it uses in a bid to encourage passengers to check-in online instead.

Only a small number of desks will be retained to process baggage too big for passengers to take with them in the cabin.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary claims the initiative will save the airline £44.7m a year. It is part of a move to slash handling costs.

Ryanair was the first airline to charge for luggage stowed in an aircraft’s hold.

Since it introduced the charges the number of passengers checking baggage in has plunged from 80% to about 25%. Most passengers now carry lighter luggage that can be stored in the cabin.

Ryanair said about 60% of its passengers already check-in online and print off their own boarding cards, leading to shorter queues in the departures terminal.

Liverpool JLA spokesman Robin Tudor said: “Ryanair won’t have a check-in as you see it today, just desks for people to drop off their bag.

“It will affect handling agents who will need less desks and staff. But we are not going to start ripping out desks.

“Not all airlines are taking the same decision and Ryanair still need some drop off desks for baggage.

“A lot of destinations Ryanair serves are holiday destinations so there will still be people bringing luggage to check in.”

A spokesman for Runcorn-based Servisair said: “It is too early to say what effect this will have. We are looking at the situation.”

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pc73

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Is anyone aware if Ryanair are cancelling the Reus route for the winter months?? The reason i ask is that other domestic routes and Stansted to and from Reus are now bookable and in past years i am sure they have been on sale by now?
 

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According to one of the previous press reports above, there's no sign that Reus was to be withdrawn but Ryanair have shown that they are certainly not afraid to cull flights which under perform. Does anyone happen to know how the service performed last winter?
 

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That seems to be what they are doing at their other bases to accommodate them
 

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Ryanair celebrate 12 millionth Liverpool Airport passenger

Ryanair has celebrated flying its 12 millionth passenger at Liverpool airport. Liverpool man Martin O'Neill, partner Kelley Carroll and daughters Lola and Jeorja, were flying from the city to Knock when they was approached by Liverpool Airport head of PR Robin Tudor and told of their milestone status. He presented the surprised group with a bottle of champagne to commemorate the event.

Ryanair spokeswoman Maria Macken said: ‘Ryanair is delighted to celebrate its 12 millionth customer at its Liverpool base. Since operations commenced in 1988 with one route to Dublin, Ryanair has continued to grow and now operates 44 routes to and from Liverpool to European destinations, including the recently-announced winter sunshine routes to Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, which will take off at the end of October.’

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Ryanair to maintain summer 2011 capacity at Liverpool Airport

Ryanair has unveiled their Summer 2011 flying programme from Liverpool Airport. At a time when the budget airline is cutting back at other UK airports, the volume of Ryanair traffic through Liverpool is to remain similar to last year’s.

Changes to the airline’s schedule will see a reduction in the overall number of destinations served, but an increase in frequency on the most popular routes, giving the region’s holidaymakers a greater choice of flights to destinations with the most demand. In particular, the airline’s Summer 2011 schedule will focus on traditional Summer sun destinations.

One new addition to Ryanair’s Liverpool network is Toulon in the South of France. This is 45 minutes from Marseille and just over an hour from the glitz and glamour of St Tropez on the Cote d’Azur. It is likely to prove popular for holidaymakers also looking for convenient flights to Provence.

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Re: Will Ryanair Use Liverpool To Go Transatlantic ?

I have been reading another forum this evening and some members of that forum were concerned that Ryanair wont utilise Liverpool to operate such flights if and when they ever happen because of the runway length at the airport. I found this bizzare because the runway at LPL is around the same length as that at both BRS and LBA. BRS has had daily services operating to Newark with Continental Airlines. LBA has twice weekly flights operating to Islamabad. With a careful choice of aircraft type, there should be no reason why LPL can't handle future possible Ryanair transatlantic services.
 
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wonder what LPL will make of Ryanair at MAN?

Ryanair basically saying they want to sever the MAN element of LPL's passenger base. Surely a lot of RYR pax at LPL originate in the MAN area, so surely this will impact loads?
 

TheLocalYokel

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Who knows what to make of Ryanair's pronouncements most of the time?

If the airline really wants to remove the MAN element from its LPL flights it will have to grow the LPL element to at least an equal degree or its loads from LPL will be diluted.

The first 'option' is of course far easier said than done.

I often think that most of this airline's public utterances regarding its partner airports are for one thing only: pour encourager les autres.

They are veiled hints/threats even that the airline has plenty of options elsewhere if an airport doesn't fall in line, which really means give Ryanair what it wants.

In Liverpool's case the spectre of a bigger Ryanair airport just along the road will, Ryanir no doubt hopes, ensure that the LPL management acknowledges firmly that it knows where its Irish bread is buttered.
 

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Ryanair really annoy me when they expand only because of growth of another operator.
 
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