Ryanair pulls nine aircraft from Alicante after row

The airline announced the cutbacks to the winter schedule after Alicante-owner Aena forced it to use airbridges rather than allow passengers simply to walk to and from the aircraft – and pay €2m (£1.75m) extra a year in landing charges.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair chief executive, said: "We are not going to be bullied by an abusive airport monopoly, or forced to pay €2m extra for inefficient airbridges which neither we nor our passengers want."

The issue arose when Alicante moved Ryanair to its new terminal, which Mr O'Leary maintained "was not needed". Ryanair said it would axe 31 routes to Alicante from October, including Bournemouth, Doncaster and Cork, and cut frequencies to a further 27 destinations. That would reduce its annual passengers at the airport from more more than 4m to below 1.5m.

"This abusive behaviour by Aena Alicante will now mean that the airport loses over €30m in revenues per year, more than 2.5m passengers and over 2,000 jobs," Mr O'Leary claimed, citing the impact on local tourism.

Source: The Telegraph