Ryanair halts Italy operation cuts

Juliette O'Neill
By Juliette O'Neill August 19, 2016 16:46

Ryanair halts Italy operation cuts

Ryanair has reversed a decision to cut back operations in Italy and has announced a new route network for 2017.

The airline said that it welcomed the initiatives taken by the Government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to reverse the €2.50 municipal tax increase from 1 Sept 2016, and Minister Graziano Delrio’s revised airport guidelines, which will enable Italy’s regional airports to compete on a level playing field with airports in Rome and Milan as long as they comply with the EU’s MEIP rules. These initiatives have now allowed Pescara airport to reach a new growth agreement with Ryanair, which will now reverse the previously announced closure of the Pescara base in November, the airline has confirmed.

Ryanair also announced in response to these initiatives by Prime Minister Renzi and Minister Delrio, that it will accelerate its growth plans for the Italian market in 2017 which will see record investment and growth by Ryanair in Italian tourism. The airline is adding 10 new aircraft (an investment of over $1 billion) to the Italian market, with 44 new routes, 21 at Rome & Milan airports and 23 at Italy’s regional airports. Ryanair said it will deliver 3m new passengers per annum to the market, promising that over 35 million customers will fly to/from Italian airports with Ryanair in 2017.

“We are extremely grateful to Prime Minister Renzi and Transport Minister Delrio for taking these initiatives to grow Italian tourism,” said Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary. “All of this growth would have been lost to other EU countries if the Municipal Tax increase had not been reversed, and the airport guidelines had not been redrafted to comply with EU rules.”

He added: “Minister Delrio has challenged the airlines to respond with growth, if his Government acted to improve the competitiveness of Italy’s airports, and Ryanair is pleased to be the first airline to announce this record $1 billion investment in new aircraft, new routes, new traffic and job growth in Italy in 2017. We will also reverse our previously announced base closure in Pescara for W16 and these flights will go on sale later this week.”

He also confirmed that the airline remains in negotiations with Alghero airport and are “hopeful of concluding a similar agreement with them when they conclude their current privatisation project in early September, which may allow the Alghero base to reopen in late November”.

Juliette O'Neill
By Juliette O'Neill August 19, 2016 16:46