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For all you naughty puppies hoping to sneak a cheeky weekend away! Be advised.......

Fares will rise by 33pc says Ryanair
By Paul Marston, Transport Correspondent
(Filed: 04/02/2004)


Fares to state-owned Continental airports could rise by a third, Ryanair said yesterday after it was ordered by the European Commission to repay more than £2 million in unlawful subsidies.

The no-frills carrier described the ruling on its discount deal with Charleroi airport, near Brussels, as a "disaster" for consumers. But other airlines said it would have little impact on prices or routes flown.

 
Loyola De Palacio, commission vice president
The EC said that up to 30 per cent of the £10.3 million awarded to Ryanair by the Walloon regional government as an incentive to fly from Charleroi breached European Union rules on the provision of state aid.

Loyola De Palacio, the commission vice-president, said the value of the illegal funding was the equivalent of a £5 increase on fares to the airport. Ryanair claimed the true price rise would be double, amounting to an increase of a third on a typical one-way fare of £28.

However, the ruling made clear that limited state aid was permissible for small airports attempting to grow.

Subsidy of up to 50 per cent would be allowed over five years for the start-up costs of a new route, while airlines could also take advantage of ground handling grants at airports used by fewer than two million passengers a year.

Ryanair has negotiated many similar agreements with public sector airports throughout France, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia. But City analysts said the Charleroi deal was much larger than others, as the airport was being used as a base for Ryanair to fly to 12 destinations.

The Irish operator said it would discuss the implications with all its state-run airports. It predicted that large carriers such as Air France, Alitalia and Lufthansa would use the ruling as a pretext to launch court challenges against individual airport contracts.

Howard Millar, Ryanair's chief financial officer, said: "We have no plans to withdraw from any of our existing routes. If anyone brings a case against us, we will take it head-on.

"It will take some time for the legal implications of this to work through, and we intend to fight all the way."

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, promised an appeal, but the process is expected to take two years. He said the commission should not interfere in the operation of a free market.

But Ryanair found little support for its claims that other airlines would be damaged by the decision.

Easyjet welcomed the "clarity" the commission had brought to airport agreements. Its own operations at French bases such as Toulouse and Marseilles would not be affected as it paid the same charges as other airlines.

Flybe, which operates to French centres such as Perpignan, Bergerac and La Rochelle, said it planned no changes to routes or fares.

The EC insisted that its decision would not lead to a general rise in fares.
 

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According to my (Swedish) daily paper, aviation experts say  Ryanair's fares are likely to rise by about 50 kronor, or barely £4, per journey as a result of this decision, so it won't break any of us.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I'm sure Ryan Air will keep going at low prices even with their recent upsets, including the case over disabled passengers having to pay for wheelchairs.

I still don't understand how I can regularly fly Stansted to Prestwick for 1p, and return for 1p, and have to pay about £25 in airport taxes. When my mother flies down to us she pays 1p for the flight, £25 in airport taxes and £25 for use of a wheelchair at Stansted!

But its still the cheapest and fastest way to get down south from Prestwick.
 

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My return ticket Gothenburg-London Stansted for the LIDS weekend (booked in December) cost £55, including all taxes and fees.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (AdmiralHanson @ Feb. 05 2004,01:13)]Does this ruling effect their flights between London Stanstead and Girona ?
I've no idea. It depends on who owns the airport and whether Ryanair receive any kind of subsidy or pay lower landing fees than competing airlines..
 

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On the subject of Ryanair, they have the following offer; take out one of their credit cards use it just once (and then cut it up; although it does not suggest that in their bumph
) and get a free return flight.

Of course you have to pay taxes, but some of their flights cost at peak times (around weekends and Bank Holidays can be quite pricey)

Certainly keeps the cost down.

I did and I have.  


Simon

PS - Disclaimer - I don't work for them.
 
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