28/10/2010

Ryanair Cuts German Flights By 30%

Budget airline Ryanair is to cut its flights to Germany by almost a third in response to the country's introduction of a flight tax.

Under the coalition Government's new bill taxing air travel, German airlines will have to pay up to €26 per passenger. German fliers Lufthansa and Air Berlin say the charges will just push passengers abroad.

Leading German carriers are also protesting against the measures, citing fears that customers will simply travel using airports abroad.

"We reject this tax completely," said Peter Schneckenleitner, a spokesman for Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa. "For German passengers, it will definitely make traveling more expensive. This will hit the German economy as a whole."

Today, Ryanair, said it would cut 30% of its flights leading to the loss of one million passengers at its Frankfurt Hahn base from summer 2011. The no frills flier said its summer 2011 schedule will be cut from 11 to 8 aircraft cutting its flights from 500 to less than 400 flights each week.

Speaking in Frankfurt, Ryanair’s Michael Cawley said today: “The German Govt’s €8 tourist tax will do significant damage to traffic and tourism in Germany next year.

"International experience shows that tourist taxes have caused substantial traffic collapse in both Ireland and the UK this year and we believe that this ill advised €8 tourist tax will do similar damage to German tourism and jobs."

Mr Cawley added that Ryanair would move three aircraft to Ryanair bases outside Germany which "welcome tourists instead of taxing them".

"We urge the German Govt to look again at the damaging impact of tourist taxes in Ireland and the UK before implementing this €8 tourist tax which will lead to similar declines in traffic and jobs at German airports,” he said.

(DW/GK)

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