Ryanair is to close 15 winter routes operated from Glasgow International airport. Five of these routes will be transferred to Edinburgh.
In its winter 2018 schedule, Ryanair will continue flying from Glasgow to Dublin, Wroclaw and Krakow. After this it will close its base at Glasgow airport and move the one aircraft elsewhere.
Prestwick will also have routes reduced from ten to eight while Edinburgh will see it’s routes increase from thirty five to forty five. Prestwick will lose routes to Gran Canaria and Barcelona.
Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, David O’Brien said 300 jobs could be lost at Glasgow due to the move. He blamed Ryanair’s decision on the Scottish Government for not halving the Air Passenger Duty as planned from £13 to £6.50.
However, that doesn’t explain why Ryanair have chosen to increase Edinburgh routes by ten apart from the fact that Edinburgh has a stronger inbound component” according to O’Brien. He also said that Brexit was a threat to the airline industry and the Scottish tourism.
Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair has threatened to cut 13 new winter routes from Edinburgh if the Scottish Government do not follow through with halving the air passenger duty tax.
The minority Scottish National Party government have put on hold their plan to replace air passenger duty with air departure tax (ADT), because of the need to get EU approval to continue an exemption for Inverness airport.
The Scottish government are also not likely to get enough support from members of the Scottish parliament as it has a Budget deal with the Scottish Green Party who oppose cutting air taxes for environmental reasons.
A Glasgow Airport spokesman said: “We are bitterly disappointed at this decision by Ryanair which is not only damaging for Glasgow and wider Scottish connectivity, it will impact approximately 100 jobs locally. This is a result of the airline’s review of its single aircraft bases, however, we have been left in no doubt it is also a consequence of the Scottish Government’s inability to introduce its proposed 50 per cent cut in ADT.