Following the recent acquisition of Stansted Airport by Manchester Airport Groups for £1.5 billion, Ryan Air said it planned to reduce the number of flights it operated out of Stansted by 9%.
Ryan Air currently accounts for around 70% of all flights to and from Stansted and this cut would mean over 170 flights a week would be axed. Ryan Air said it was because of increased fees being brought in at the airport and Ryan Air had already asked the Civil Aviation Authority to investigate the 6% rise. There would also be a large number of job losses associated with running less flights, estimated at around 1,100 in total. The airline site a drop in 6.5 million passengers over the last 6 years as one of the over-riding reasons for the reducing the number of weekly flights.
At the same time the new managing director of Stansted Airport said he was looking forward to working with Ryan Air but the airline feels that the surprise fee hikes were probably part of a sweetener package offered to the new owners of the airport as part of the acquisition deal. The increased airline fees had apparently been introduced by the former owners, Ferrovial/BAA, shortly before the take over by the Manchester group and were immediately rejected by Ryan Air, who have questioned Ferrovial’s ability to raise prices when it will no longer be running the airport. The former owners of the airport have refused to comment but the Civil Aviation Authority said that the decision to raise fees was taken well in advance of the take-over and within regulated time limits and it is for Ryan Air to challenger this if they feel the rises are unfair.
No official notification has yet been given to the workers’ union that there will be job losses or a reduction in flights and Unite, the union for the airport workers has said that this could just be a bulling tactic from a large employer and may never materialise.
Despite the airline causing a fuss about the price hikes, last month Ryan Air saw a record share price, the highest in 6 years. This followed the announcement that the company had agreed to buy 175 Boeing 737 aeroplanes in a staggering 12 billion Euro deal. This deal will be the largest ever made by an Irish firm and the largest order ever places by an airline.
There are possible plans to extend Stansted airport and make it into one of the main London airports. It is a great place to fly into and explore nearby historic towns and cities like Chelmsford. If you are flying into this airport and need Station Cars then try Chelmsford Taxi Service.