Government airport tax could threaten future of Ryanair Knock flights

Tourism jobs in the west could be under threat if Ryanair cut services from Ireland West Airport Knock.

Yesterday (Thursday ) Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary announced that the airline would be cutting services at Shannon Airport with the loss of 100 jobs. O’Leary blamed the Government’s €10 travel tax on the move saying it has led to a fall in passenger numbers in the west.

The low-fares airline services six routes from Ireland West Airport, the latest one to Alicante in Spain only launched weeks ago and is due to commence in June. During the fanfare of that launch the airline said Ryanair passengers sustained 400 local jobs and provided more than €47 million in tourism revenue for the west and surrounding regions.

Other Ryanair routes from Knock include Liverpool, Bristol, East Midlands, Stansted, and Luton.

Other Ryanair routes from Knock include Liverpool, Bristol, East Midlands, Stansted, and Luton.

The airport said that the current economic conditions will continue to hit travel patterns this year, but due to its expanded network, it still expects passenger levels to grow by a modest one to three per cent in 2009.

It is unknown yet whether O’Leary intends on cutting services from Ireland West but if he does it will have a serious impact for airport jobs and passenger numbers. Yesterday the airport was unaware of any changes to Ryanair routes. An airport spokesperson said they had not been contacted by the airline.Mr O’Leary has branded the airport tax “tourism suicide” and has called on the Government to scrap the charge. At Ireland West Airport passengers also pay an additional airport development levy of €10 on outgoing flights.

 

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