Ryanair are to cut 30% of their flights out of London’s Stansted airport this coming winter, reducing the number of flights on 30 routes and completely cutting out 10 routes.
The no-frills airline, famed for such ideas as no check-ins, carry your own bags, pay to pee and possibly, in the future, standing passengers, has enjoyed a decade of growth but now sees UK traffic and tourism declining.
The company puts much of the blame on government police and the cutbacks are said to be a protest against Gordon Brown’s ‘Tourist Tax’ (Air Passenger Duty) on short flights and plans to raise this tax from £10 to £11. They are also unhappy at the refusal of BAA, the Spanish owners of Stansted, to cut landing fees.
Ryanair point out that in countries which welcome tourists, rather than taxing them, the company continues to increase traffic rapidly. In Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Spain, airport taxes have either been scrapped or greatly reduced in order to stimulate tourism and the economy, something Ryanair believe should be happening in the UK rather than the current policy of raising such taxes.