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Agent fury at Buzz closure

FURIOUS
agents have lashed out at Ryanair for cancelling Buzz’s April schedule and 12
routes from Stansted.

Thousands
of passengers’ travel plans have been thrown into disarray by the move, which
Ryanair blamed on

spiralling
costs. Under radical restructuring plans, the carrier has proposed slashing 400
Buzz jobs and 12 routes from Stansted, including Paris  and Amsterdam. And it is threatening to
close the airline unless Buzz staff agree to the changes.

Anne
Dixon, a partner with Colchester-based Radco Business Travel, said: “That is
going to hit us big because Paris and Amsterdam are major business routes. We
are very angry.

It’s
an absolute disgrace.”

Colchester
Travel managing director John Bennett added: “It’s amazing really, but typical
of Ryanair. No-one has told us and we are left with the problem of clearing
up.”

Buzz
passengers will receive refunds for cancelled flights but not hotel bookings or
car hire.

The
move has outraged unions. Pilots’ union Balpa, the GMB and the T&G have
indicated they may join forces to mount a legal challenge.

Ryanair
justified the plan by  highlighting
Buzz’s £20 million loss last year. A spokesman said: “The financial position of
Buzz is extremely precarious.”

The
carrier said Buzz’s load factor for January was only 48% and the former KLM
subsidiary is currently losing  £678,000
a week.

Under
the restructure plan, the Irish carrier has said it will increase frequencies
on its remaining 12 routes and offer better pay and conditions to the remaining
Buzz staff.

MyTravelLite
and GB Airways have stepped in to offer alternative flights to Buzz.
MyTravelLite is increasing its Murcia, Malaga and Alicante flights from
Birmingham and is offering Buzz passengers its flights for the same price they
paid for cancelled services. Meanwhile, BA franchisee GB Airways is launching
Toulon and Murcia routes from Gatwick in May.

 

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