Ryanair CEO demands UK adopts European system
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Infamous for its low-cost travel options, Irish-based Ryanair is leaving Frankfurt Airport, citing high airport charges. Their new boss Eddie Wilson told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.) that they will be departing for the last time on March 31 this year.
Ryanair’s five aeroplanes at the airport will be distributed to other airports.
The Frankfurt airport operator Fraport had just raised the charge by 4.3 percent, in a move which a spokesperson for Fraport initially said they regretted.
However, the new fee schedule is described by Fraport as “extremely moderate” compared with other European airports of a similar size, and would have been approved by the Hessian Ministry of Economics and Transport.
By comparison, at the end of 2021, London Heathrow Airport received approval from the British Civil Aviation Authority to raise their airport charges by around 50 percent.
Ryanair seemed to disagree with the idea that Fraport’s charge increase was only moderate, claiming that other airports were promoting the recovery of air traffic with lower charges, following the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic to the industry.
Due to the increased prices, Frankfurt was no longer considered competitive compared with other European airports.
Ryanair has further accused the German government of protecting certain airlines such as Lufthansa with billions in aid, instead of introducing policies that would benefit all airlines.
This does not mean the end of Ryanair’s presence in German airports.
Two planes will remain at Nuremberg Airport, and Ryanair is aiming to expand further across Europe this summer with 65 new Boeing B737-8200s.
Ryanair first started operating in Frankfurt in 2017, after Fraport first launched an incentive programme.
This programme gave fee advantages for new airlines departing from Frankfurt.
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However, these perks have, as initially planned, decreased from year to year.
The crews stationed in Frankfurt, including the pilots, have already received notification of the closure.
All crew members will have the opportunity to get an alternative job within Ryanair.
This will be especially important after Ryanair announced its intention to deliver 210 new aircraft in order to grow faster than other airlines following the Covid pandemic.
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