Ryanair to cut flights and 1,000 jobs in Germany
RYANAIR has confirmed it will slash the number of flights it operates from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport from next summer in response to the introduction of an €8 tourist tax by the German government. The airline had threatened the move earlier this year.
It is also believed Ryanair has halted work on a major extension to its maintenance facility at Frankfurt-Hahn.
In May, the airline announced a €25m investment at Frankfurt-Hahn to build a new maintenance hangar and a crew- training facility after it failed to gain control of hangar 6 at Dublin Airport, which has been leased by Aer Lingus from the Dublin Airport Authority.
Ryanair said it would establish a maintenance centre at Dublin Airport if it were given the hangar, and the dispute escalated into a major political row. The firm had said the new Frankfurt-Hahn facility would employ 200 people and be operational by the end of this year.
Ryanair has declined to comment.
The airline will base eight aircraft at the airport next summer compared to the 11 it had there this year. It said the reduction would result in 30pc fewer Ryanair flights to and from the airport and lose the facility one million passengers next year. It said the reductions would also lead to a loss of 1,000 jobs.
Ryanair is closing routes from Frankfurt-Hahn to cities including Berlin, Seville, Prague and Gothenburg, while 15 other routes will have reduced frequencies, according to the airline.
Flights to Dublin and Kerry will be unaffected. Ryanair said it would move the aircraft from Frankfurt-Hahn to other airports. It is most likely they will be shifted to Italy and Spain.
Deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said the decision to introduce the tourist tax in Germany would do "significant damage" to airline traffic and tourism figures next year.
Shares in Ryanair, which will release interim results on Monday, closed flat at €4.19 yesterday.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has announced a Shannon-Paris service from December, with three flights a week on the route. The airline had scrapped the service nine years ago.
The decision to reinstate the route, which will operate to Charles de Gaulle airport, was welcomed by Shannon Airport director Martin Moroney. Ryanair is axing its Shannon-Paris Beauvais route from next week.