Ryanair cuts Spanish routes after tax rise

Ryanair routes to Barcelona from East Midlands and Leeds/Bradford are among a series being dropped due to a doubling in Spanish airport taxes.

The budget carrier is suspending a total of 11 routes to Madrid, including a Manchester service, this winter in addition to cancelling four routes to Barcelona.

The airline is also reducing frequency on a range of services from both Spanish airports in response to the increased departure tax from July 1.

Three aircraft are being withdrawn from Madrid and two from Barcelona.

The carrier claims 2.3 million passengers will be lost affecting 1,300 jobs in Madrid and 1,000 in Barcelona.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “Ryanair objects to the Spanish government’s decision to double airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona airports.

“Sadly, this will lead to severe traffic, tourism and job cuts at both airports this winter.

“Ryanair’s cuts alone will cause a combined loss of 2.3 million passengers and over 2,000 jobs at Madrid and Barcelona El Prat airports to other lower cost airports elsewhere in Europe, where Ryanair continues to grow.”

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