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Article from BTNews 8 SEPTEMBER 2014

Prestwick declines

Ryanair will only operate 16 routes out of Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport for summer 2015 compared to its current 24 destinations.  This reduction comes after the budget airline halved its winter schedule at the Scottish taxpayer-owned Ayrshire airport, relocating most services to Glasgow International.

Michael O'Leary stresses that Ryanair remained "heavily committed" to Prestwick, where it stations three aircraft and operates a major maintenance site.

In October the company is due to launch its winter schedule from Glasgow International, its newest Scottish base, with flights to Dublin and Derry, Stansted, Riga (Latvia), and Warsaw Modlin, Wroclaw and Bydgoszcz (all in Poland).

Its summer 2015 schedule will add an additional two routes, to Carcassonne, near Toulouse (France) and Chania (Greece).

Speaking in Edinburgh Mr O'Leary said Ryanair's operation at Prestwick, where it is the only airline, was "profitable but not hugely profitable".

He added that the firm was in talks with the Scottish Government and Prestwick bosses about boosting passenger traffic by about 100,000 a year, from 500,000 currently, but said Air Passenger Duty remained a "major disincentive" against airlines setting up at regional airports.

The Scottish Government has promised to halve and eventually scrap the tax altogether if there is a vote for independence. www.ryanair.com

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