Ryanair To Cancel Routes On German Tax Plans

October 27, 2010

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Ryanair said it would cancel flights on nine routes from Frankfurt-Hahn airport in 2011 in response to Germany's planned air passenger tax.

The German government, looking to find new ways of closing its budget gap, has announced plans to raise EUR€1 billion (USD$1.40 billion) a year by taxing air passengers between EUR€8 and EUR€45 per flight.

German airlines' association BDF has said it expects 10,000 jobs to shift abroad and German passenger volumes to drop by 5 million per year as a result of the tax. In 2009, 182 million passengers passed through German airports.

Ryanair's move will cut the number of passengers Europe's biggest low-cost carrier transports from Hahn by almost a quarter to 2.9 million and affect about 1,000 jobs, Ryanair's deputy chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We're not closing our business in Hahn, we're just saying that we have 1 million passengers there who are not willing to pay EUR€8 more per ticket," Michael Cawley told reporters.

Ryanair's overall passenger traffic will remain unchanged because the three aircraft Ryanair is moving from Hahn will be based at one of the Irish carrier's other airports, he said.

Hahn airport, mainly used by Ryanair, is a former US military air field about 100 kilometres west of Frankfurt.

Other airlines including German flagship carrier Lufthansa's unit Germanwings have said they may reconsider plans to expand their business in Europe's biggest economy in the face of the planned tax.

(Reuters)