Ryanair blames high costs and €10 tax as it scraps 48 flights
Ryanair is scrapping a total of 48 weekly flights from Dublin airport to Cork and destinations in Britain from January, blaming the Government's €10 tourist tax and high airport charges.
The airline's outspoken boss, Michael O'Leary, unveiled the cuts yesterday as he said he would welcome a bailout of the country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He also again called on the Dublin Airport Authority to mothball the new Terminal 2, which is due to be opened tomorrow by embattled Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
Beginning in the New Year, Ryanair will halve the number of weekly flights it operates between Dublin and Cork from 28 to 14, while the number of flights between Dublin and Edinburgh will be chopped from 46 to 34. Other UK destinations hit include Glasgow, Leeds, East Midlands and Manchester.
Mr O'Leary said the total reductions announced yesterday would result in 380,000 fewer passengers at Dublin Airport every year.
Sporting a moustache he's growing for 'Movember' to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, Mr O'Leary said that the sharp decline in tourist numbers at a time when hotel rooms and other services were cheap, was "reversible tomorrow" if the Government repealed the tourist tax.
The Central Statistics Office said last week that visitors to Ireland fell by 850,000, or 15pc, to 4.6 million in the first nine months of the year.