Ryanair threatens to cut Shannon flights after hike in fees
Ryanair has threatened to cut the number of flights it operates out of Shannon Airport unless a 33pc rise in passenger charges confirmed yesterday is reversed.
The decision to hike the charges comes even as the number of passengers using the airport has declined considerably.
But Shannon Airport director Martin Moroney claimed yesterday that the rise was essential as the facility was loss-making and needed to improve its viability.
He added that the increase, which would add €1.58 to bring a single-trip passenger fee to €6.30, was the first in six years at the airport and that the charges remained in line with other airports.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary strongly criticised the charge, saying it would serve to decrease Shannon's attractiveness to airlines at a time when its passenger numbers were falling.
"At a time when Shannon Airport should be lowering costs, particularly entering the winter, the airport has announced a crazy plan to raise passenger fees further by 33pc," he said.
"This will further damage Shannon's flights, traffic and tourism business, since price-sensitive passengers simply won't pay these unjustified price hikes from a government-owned airport monopoly."
He called on the Department of Transport to intervene and force the reversal of the price increase.