5 JULY 2010
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RYANAIR is to reduce its UK winter capacity from November, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary blaming the government’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) £11 tax as the cause. Stansted suffers the most with the Irish airline reducing its base fleet from 24 to 22 which according to the Irish airline is 17% but on our calculations is just 8%. Ryanair also says that “up to 1.5m” passengers will be lost during the period (about four months) which is impossible. National and regional newspapers usually accept these headline figures without checking. Ryanair says it will switch these London-based aircraft to other European bases where governments have scrapped tourist taxes and reduced passenger charges. It has cut winter flights at most of its other UK bases, except Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford. www.ryanair.com
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