Well, Ryanair are in the news again. No sooner is it reported on this blog that they are expanding at Leeds Bradford with the possibility of 1,000 new jobs for the Leeds area, than they pull out of Manchester with a loss of, yes, you’ve guessed it, 1,000 jobs. Leeds gains, Manchester loses.
It seems as though it’s all blown up about landing charges. Manchester has refused to lower the charges it makes to airlines landing at the airport, causing Ryanair to almost pull out of Manchester completely. It is expected that 600 jobs will go directly because of this withdrawal, and a further 400 jobs will now not be created that would have come into being under a deal that Ryanair offered Manchester if it cut charges.
However Manchester Airport has defended its charges saying: "Notwithstanding all of our investment in Manchester airport, including during the current recession, we don't believe that charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable. Clearly, Ryanair do and that's regrettable."
Ryanair will be closing or switching nine of its ten routes at Manchester, and this will take place from the start of October. This will mean a total of 44 weekly flights cut at Manchester, which will mean a loss of some 600,000 passengers a year.
As well as having more routes from Leeds Bradford, Ryanair will be boosting its winter schedules from Edinburgh and Prestwick, with a Ryanair spokesman saying: "We are looking to have more winter routes from Edinburgh and Prestwick than last year.
"We are looking at finalising the schedules for those two airport bases for us, and hope to have them pretty much agreed by the end of this week."
Last winter the airline had 19 routes going out of Edinburgh, and about another twenty out of Prestwick.