Ryanair to cut routes from Edinburgh Airport

Move may affect 300 jobs.

The Irish airline Ryanair said it would cut its routes from 40 to 35 at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, following a breakdown of negotiations with the Spanish-owned airport operator BAA over pricing.

The low-cost airline said the move will result in cutting its base at Edinburgh from seven to six aircraft leading to a loss of five routes and 300,000 passengers per annum. In addition 300 jobs are under threat.

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, said: "Ryanair regrets BAA Edinburgh Airport's rejection of our proposals for a competitive cost base which would allow Ryanair to further grow our traffic and routes for summer 2012. Sadly BAA Edinburgh seems to prefer higher costs, even if it means fewer passengers and jobs at Edinburgh.

These cuts include the closure of Berlin, Malmo, Murcia, Ibiza and Tallinn routes starting April 2012 and will include reduction of weekly flights from 140 to 110.

O'Leary added: "While Ryanair remains committed to Edinburgh Airport, BAA Edinburgh cannot continue to ignore the competitive marketplace, where airports all over the UK and Europe have been reducing costs and lowering charges in return for traffic growth."

Meanwhile, the airline will continue its discussions with BAA Edinburgh to try to extend its five-year agreement on a competitive basis from October 2012. In the event these discussions are not fruitful, there will be further significant aircraft, route, traffic and jobs cuts announced at Edinburgh from winter 2012 onwards, added Ryanair.

"We hope even at this late stage that BAA Edinburgh will realise that the way to grow traffic and jobs is by working with Ryanair to lower passengers fares, not raise them," concluded O'Leary.

In other developments, Ryanair has filed a case against Budget Travel for breach of its terms of use and intellectual property rights.