Barcelona (ACN).- Ryanair, the low cost Irish airline, announced this Friday the closure of four flights from Barcelona and a flight from Girona to Madrid due to rising costs. The tax increase was approved by the AENA, the institution responsible for Spanish airports and aerial navigation and approved by the Spanish government. Eleven flights from Madrid’s Barajas Airport have also been cancelled. Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary announced that the services would stop from November. Connections from Barcelona-El Prat to the East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Hamburg and Trieste will be lost.
In a statement, the Irish company declared the flight cancellations as an "inevitable response" to rising rates by AENA. There is an expected loss of 2.3 million passengers due to the cancellations. In addition, the frequency of service from Barcelona-El Prat to the following airports will be reduced: Alicante, Budapest, Brussels-Charleroi, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Liverpool, Malaga, Memmingen, Milan, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Porto, Rome, Santander, Santiago, Stockholm, Tenerife and Venice. 1,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be lost as a result of the reductions.
“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,” declared O'Leary. O'Leary said the company will direct this traffic to other European airports stating that, “these route and traffic cuts can be reversed but only when the Spanish government and AENA reverse these tax increases and cuts its high airport charges.”