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Ryanair cuts route out of Faro to Madrid


Ryanair will reduce flights to the Spanish capital by 35 percent, while trimming those to Barcelona by 23 percent.

The low cost airline says this move will cost 4,500 Spanish jobs and result in a reduction of around 4.5 million passengers to Portugal’s Iberian neighbours.

Ryanair Algarve Madrid Car HireFollowing questions posed by The Portugal News, the Ryanair office in Madrid admitted Faro would no longer be connected to Madrid.

Oporto too, would suffer, the airline said.

“Yes, there is going to be a cut of about 20 weekly flights [between Portugal and Spain], including the cancellation of the Faro-Madrid route”, a spokesperson confirmed.

Ryanair first launched the Faro-Madrid route in 2007 with an introductory €1 fair, followed by regular fares (taxes included) which varied from €5 to €20, allowing thousands of Algarvians to visit the Spanish capital at a cost which was often cheaper than a bus fare to Lisbon.

Due to this move, Madrid will see the number of Ryanair aircraft stationed at Barajas reduce from 14 to 10, along with the elimination of 13 routes, including Faro.

Barcelona will see four routes removed from the regular flight roster, translating into 648 weekly Ryanair flights being cancelled across Spain.

Ryanair’s Michael Cawley, speaking from Madrid, further justified the move by saying that “Ryanair objects to the Spanish Govt’s decision to double airport taxes at both Madrid and Barcelona airports and increase airport charges at many other Spanish airports.

Sadly, this will again lead to severe traffic, tourism and job cuts at both Madrid and Barcelona airports this summer as part of a 12 percent overall reduction in Ryanair’s Spanish operations.”

Mr Cawley offered some hope for low-cost city hoppers by adding: “These route and traffic cuts can be reversed but only when the Spanish Govt and its already high cost airport monopoly AENA reverse these unjustified tax increases and reduces its high airport charges in order to stimulate tourism.”

Following this decision, Ryanair moved to announce yet another tax on its already growing list of pre-booking fees.

This time, the ‘culprit’ was the UK Office of Fair Trading.

“Ryanair has announced that in order to comply with the UK Office of Fair Trading’s recent ruling on credit card fees it will introduce an avoidable two percent credit card processing fee on all new credit card bookings to cover credit card payment costs”, the airline said, adding the surcharge is in place for all bookings made as from the start of the month.

This comes on the heels of another policy change announced in November, when Ryanair said €6/£6 admin fee for online bookings would apply to all new bookings made from the end of last month, except those bookings made using a Ryanair Cash Passport in Ireland, Germany and Spain, where admin fees can be avoided until 1 February, 15 February and 21 March 2013, respectively.

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