UK Low-Cost Changes

Irish budget carrier Ryanair has chosen to open a new base at Leeds Bradford International Airport from March 2010 and in the process has announced plans to suspend all but one of its flights from Manchester Airport, approximately 60 miles (88km) to the southwest.
In a statement, the Irish carrier said that after Manchester Airport failed “to lower its charges to reflect the lower fares being paid by passengers in the current recession” it was left with little alternative but to move its operations to “lower cost competitor airports”.
As a result its 44 weekly flights to Bergamo, Bremen, Cagliari, Charleroi, Dusseldorf/Weeze, Frankfurt/Hahn, Girona, Marseille, Milan and Shannon will be suspended from October 1, although its Dublin route will continue to be served.
Ryanair apparently tried to renegotiate the terms of its contract with Manchester Airport, asking for reduced charges in return for it expanding its network.  However, the airport’s Managing Director was quoted as saying “They were effectively asking to fly from the airport for free, and we could not accept terms that would ‘trash the market’.”  He added that his airport was not willing to “prostitute” itself to the demands of the no-frills carrier.
Ryanair will position two Boeing 737-800s to LBIA in March 2010 to launch new flights to Carcassonne, Faro, Ibiza, Knock, Krakow, Limoges, Malaga, Malta, Montpellier, Murcia, Nantes, Palma, Pisa and Treviso.  It already operates services from LBIA to Alicante, Dublin and Girona using aircraft from those bases, and now expects to handle around one million passengers per annum from the facility.
Meanwhile, it is also launching seven new connections from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport this October.  The links to Agadir, Bratislava, Bremen, Faro, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Rzeszow will expand its winter network from the airport to 43 destinations.
Fellow low-cost carrier Jet2, which already operates on many of the routes Ryanair is planning from LBIA, has immediately revealed plans to reduce its activities at the Yorkshire airport.  It has announced the closure of its services to Krakow and Pisa and it will instead expand its activities at both Manchester and Newcastle International.  It is to base a seventh B737-300 at Manchester next summer to launch flights to Gran Canaria, Kos and Venice and to boost frequencies on its services to Dalaman, Lanzarote, Sharm-el-Sheikh and Tel Aviv.  Meanwhile, at Newcastle Jet2 has confirmed new routes to Crete, Dalaman, Gran Canaria, Paphos and Sharm-el-Sheikh.  These will all start from May 2010.