Ryanair is cutting its UK winter capacity because of taxes and high airport charges.
The no-frills giant will reportly reduce its winter capacity by 16%, which equates to more than two million passengers, with capacity at Stansted falling by 17% from November.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said 200 jobs would be lost within Ryanair, including cabin crew and pilots, and he forecast a further 2,500 jobs to be lost outside the company due to the impact.
In total, the carrier will operate 135 fewer weekly flights, reducing passenger numbers by up to 1.5 million passengers between November 2010 and March 2011.
Ryanair will base 22 aircraft at Stansted for the winter schedule, down from 24 last winter. The two aircraft will be switched to other European bases where governments have scrapped tourist taxes and reduced passenger charges.
O’Leary estimated £10 million would be saved by shifting the two aircraft away from Stansted.
He added: “Sadly, UK traffic and tourism continues to collapse, while Ryanair continues to grow rapidly in countries which welcome tourists instead of taxing them.”
EasyJet has been cutting capacity in the UK for more favourable European airports by closing its East Midlands base and reducing its flight programme at Luton airport by 20%.