Ryan Air is killing off 300 jobs and its base at Glasgow International in Scotland. It blames Airport Departure tax for the decision, saying it undermines the low-cost model so badly it’s no longer a viable base.
Frankly that doesn’t sound like it holds much water as an argument – the entire UK has the same APD rates and the airline announced it was moving 11 of the 43 Glasgow routes to Edinburgh. It will continue to serve Glasgow to just Dublin – 3 times a day, and Krakow and Wroclaw twice a week.
The airline still operates out of Prestwick in Scotland, which is not far from Glasgow anyway. Almost all of the routes there are to summer Mediterranean destinations.
Edinburgh however will have 45 routes in total, with 11 new ones mostly covering Germany and the Baltics, with others heading, as always, to southern Spain.
RyanAir is for the first time muscling in on Eurowings primary base at Düsseldorf, which has the largest catchment area in Germany, with the highest population density, and its targeting their main holiday destinations in Southern Spain and Portugal and the Canary Islands. Indeed RyanAir is challenging everywhere Eurowings operates, from Nuremberg to Cologne and Stuttgart.
The Berlin routes challenges easyJet, Lufthansa and Eurowings, again in traditional southern European routes.
APD does have an effect. I recently paid £119 for a Heathrow domestic flight to EDI – £101 of the £119 was APD, VAT, and airport charges both ends! Juts £18 went to the airilne.