Ryanair grounds planes as oil prices rise

17-07-2008

Ryanair grounds planes as oil prices rise
Ryanair is closing seven European bases and ground eight planes at Stansted this winter.

A total of 250 flights from Stansted will be cut – with Ryanair blaming rising oil prices and airport costs.

The airline will now fly 900,000 fewer passengers from the airport.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary blamed the cuts on airports operator BAA.

"Like most monopolies, the BAA continues to increase costs at three times the rate of inflation, while delivering miserable service and inadequate facilities," he said.

"Passengers continue to suffer long queues at security and passport control and frequent baggage belt failures at Stansted because the BAA refuses to staff or operate these facilities adequately."

Last month, the airline announced with its results that if oil rose over $130 a barrel the firm would start to make a loss.

The current oil price is now £135 a barrel after peaking last week at $147.

Speaking today, Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said: "A combination of high airport charges and the massive increases which we face in fuel prices, makes it more profitable for Ryanair to ground aircraft rather than fly them at these airports during this period."

Yesterday Ryanair announced a 12 per cent cut in fights from Dublin.

Flights cut today will hit Basel, Budapest, Krakow and Rzeszow, Salzburg, Valencia and Palma in Spain.

Ryanair's Warsaw and Leeds bases will see even more severe cutbacks, with all scheduled flights from Warsaw airport being cancelled and flights from Leeds reduced by 31 per cent.

Ryanair will add routes to Ibiza, Tenerife, Malaga and Katowice.

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