5 MARCH 2018
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The debate over Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland took a major turn last week as Ryanair said it was closing its Glasgow International Airport base from November and cutting the number of routes from 23 to three – Dublin, Wroclaw and Krakow.
The Irish airline plans to transfer its Glasgow-based aircraft to Edinburgh where it will offer 11 new routes. It is also ending two of its ten routes from Prestwick.
Chief commercial officer David O’Brien said: “Ryanair regrets these cuts in the weaker Glasgow market where efforts to stimulate demand are severely hampered by the continuing burden of APD."
With plans by the Scottish government to cut and eventually abolish APD delayed last year until at least April 2019, O’Brien said a weak market in Glasgow “simply cannot bear the burden of APD at £13”.
A spokesman for Glasgow International said it was “bitterly disappointed” by Ryanair’s decision. “Despite clear and repeated warnings from both airports and airlines about the potential impact of this policy not being implemented, we are now faced with a stark scenario that includes the loss of 20 services and a significant number of jobs,” the spokesman added.
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