The Irish Times carries a story today by Ciara O’Brien that will be of interest to anyone with property around Alicante in Southern Spain. The Irish bought in great numbers there over the years, probably more in the nineties than at any other time, but there are still a lot of Irish owners there. This is the story:
Ryanair is to cut its operations at it Spanish base in Alicante by up to 80 per cent from October in response to increased charges at the airport.
The no-frills airline said it was reducing the number of base aircraft at Alicante from 11 to two, cutting the number of routes in half to 31, and reducing passengers from 4 million to 1.5 million.
Among the cancelled routes are flights operating between the Spanish holiday destination, and Cork and Derry. Dublin to Alicante routes will be reduced in frequency for the winter.
Ryanair said the decision was taken after AENA Alicante’s decision last week to force the airline to use airbridges, which will costing it more than €2 million per year. The airline, which has been operating at the airport for more than five years without the use of such facilities, claimed it was an abuse of AENA Alicante’s monopoly, and said it had submitted a formal complaint to the Spanish government and the European Commission.
Ryanair was among the airport’s biggest carriers, with Easyjet coming in second.
The cuts will mean fewer than 200 Ryanair flights will pass through the airport each week, down from 600 per week. It will cost the airport more than €18 million each year in lost passenger and turnaround fees from Ryanair.
“Alicante Airport has opened up a new terminal building which was not needed, and to pay for it, Alicante expects efficient airlines like Ryanair to now use the same inefficient and high cost airbridges that other high fare flag carrier airlines prefer to use,” said Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.
“We are not going to be bullied by an abusive airport monopoly, or forced to pay €2 million extra for inefficient airbridges which neither we nor our passengers want.”