Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Ryanair Propose Route Development Support

A press release issued yesterday suggests that Ryanair are pressing the Scottish Government to consider some form of route development support to encourage new tourism routes into Scotland.
The former scheme ceased under EU legislation and its loss, it has been argued, has seen a reduction in investment in new routes from the low cost carriers and others.
There is no doubt that the increase of access to Scotland has been responsible for the major increases in visitor numbers from key market places such as Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and others such as Poland.
It is clear that if their is access markets will come. The potential loss of existing routes in the current economic climate remains real and therefore any genuine activity in developing effective new inbound routes must be helpful. There is very little detail and no response on the release issued but we shall pursue and see what we can find out.
Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline, has confirmed that it has submitted a proposal to Scotland’s Finance Minister John Swinney whereby Ryanair would massively increase the number of routes and passengers at Scottish Airports, and reverse the 6% collapse in traffic and tourism suffered in Scotland in the first eight months of 2009 as a result of Gordon Brown’s £10 APD tourist tax.
Ryanair, which is Scotland’s fastest growing airline, confirmed at meetings today in Edinburgh that it would help the Scottish government to achieve its goal to increase Scottish tourism by 50% by 2015 if it agrees to adopt a Ryanair proposal which would encourage all airlines to develop new routes and grow passenger numbers.

Under the proposal Ryanair would deliver an additional 1.5m passengers per annum which would sustain 1,500 new jobs, reverse the traffic collapse suffered at Scottish airports this year and deliver an additional tourism spend of over £100m next summer.

Speaking in Glasgow today, Ryanair’s Michael Cawley said:

“Ryanair is the only major airline growing capacity, traffic and routes in Scotland this year. We can replicate our successes at airports such as Edinburgh in Glasgow and Aberdeen, placing the local tourism industry back on a growth path, while at the same time creating and sustaining up to 1,500 new jobs.

“Ryanair’s proposal will see the government offer any airline which commits to growing Scottish passenger numbers with route development support mirroring a very successful scheme which operated from 2002 to 2007. With such support Ryanair can counteract the damage inflicted on Scottish tourism by Gordon Brown’s £10 APD and return Scottish tourism and jobs to growth”.
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