Extorsion-air

LAST UPDATED: 15 Sep, 2011 @ 15:50
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Ryanair
LOW cost airline Ryanair has been accused of holding Granada to ransom after it was revealed the company is asking for more money to continue flying into the city.

Flights between Granada and London Stanstead were apparently cancelled after the company announced it was grounding 20 planes this winter in a bid to fight soaring petrol costs.

But a regional government representative claims the budget airline – which recorded profits of 390 million euros in 2007 – said it would reconsider the route if it received more money from the city.

“In mid-May, I received a phone call from Ryanair representatives stating the service to London was cancelled,” said Junta representative in Granada Antonio Martinez Caler. “Then on June 2, the company contacted me again asking for more money to save the flights.”

According to reports, the Junta currently pays Ryanair 300,000 euros a year to fly into the area, with Granada’s chamber of commerce stumping up 700,000 euros.

Martínez Caler has refused to divulge how much more money the airline is demanding, but criticised the City Hall for cancelling its share of the airport subsidies in 2007.

“I cannot say how much more money it will take for Ryanair to reconsider, but flights between Granada and London are worth saving.

“Others also need to put their hands into their pockets,” he added.

Granada council is refusing to reconsider its decision to cancel its funding, which in part forced Monarch to pull its Granada-Gatwick service last year.

“The council is not going to be held to ransom by the whims of low-cost airlines,” said tourism boss María Francisca Carazo.

The decision now leaves the Granada and Jaen areas with no flight links to the south of England.

Olive farmer Tim Kay insists it is very bad news for the area.

“This could destroy a lot of businesses, which rely on tourists from the UK,” he said. “Friends who run B&Bs felt the pinch after Monarch cancelled its flights.

“It will also force people to rethink when looking to buy a property here.”

Currently, the Ryanair website is not offering flights to either Stanstead or East Midlands from Granada after October 25. The service to Liverpool is unaffected.

A Ryanair spokesman admitted it was grounding flights this winter but refused to confirm whether Granada would be affected by these cancellations.

She refused to comment on the allegations of financial demands.

6 COMMENTS

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  1. To some extent the presumed lack of passengers on the Stansted Granada route is due to the ridiculous scheduling flight times. The only flights to Granada from Stansted leave late afternoon arriving at about 2130 and returning to Stansted about 2015. Passengers do not want to arrive in Spain late in the evening and land back at Stansted first thing in the early hours.

    Another factor is that Easyjet (who I think are a more pleasant airline to fly with) offer a service to Malaga from Stansted which over the last few months has been very competitively priced with better and more varied flight times. Whilst it does take an extra hour to reach our house in Priego de Cordoba this is well worth it for the flexibility. Once the new motorway from Antequera to Cordoba is completed journey times for us will be less.

    If Granada Council does decide to provide funding I would suggest that it is linked to a more sensible scheduling arrangement.

    If Ryannair do not wish to play ball perhaps a deal with Easyjet might be possible as their flights in to Malaga do not appear to be totally full and reducing capacity by one plane and flying to Granada at a sensible time might be a winner!!

  2. The roumor was that it was Ryan Air who bought off Monarch, who now fly from Jerez, to get 100 percent of the market. Now they are intimidating the users and government with their claims. The Ryan air service is apalling, the hidden costs take the price up to that of Iberia and their idea of cattle truck style planes flying to a god fosaken airodrome in the middle of no where is worse. My two experiences of Ryan air so far have been desasterous. On one the delays meant arriving after any form of transport from Stanstead was impossible. On another the chaos at the check in meant that it took 3 hours to get onto the plane. Securioty is ajoke and I saw three girls filing their nails with forbidden nail files and using scissors. Worst of all is theis policy on luggage that limmits the weight of a bag to weight and not allowing two people to use one bag. We are better rid of them as ant serious airline will happily take over the slot, charge realistic prices and provide proper service.

  3. Perhaps I’m the exception (although I don’t think so judging by how full Ryanair planes are), but I don’t think Ryanair’s service is bad at all. It just seems fashionable to complain about low-cost airlines: Ryanair/Ryanmare Easyjet/Sleazyjet etc.

    I fly the XRY-STN-XRY at least once a month, and have done so for the last 3 years, so I’m slightly more qualified to talk than P Santamaria with their two desasterous (sic) experiences. I also use Clickair from SVQ-LGW almost as much and sometimes Easy/BA GIB-LGW, so I have good comparisons.

    I do agree that some Ryanair “venues” are not exactly convenient, Hahn comes to mind, but that all depends on personal circumstance. For me, XRY is not “god forsaken”, it’s 10 minutes from my flat. STN is 45 minutes from the City, just as long as it would take me from Heathrow or Gatwick.

    I’m not sure what the fuss about “hidden” costs is all about. None of the Ryanair costs are hidden, they’re all very clearly published. Contrary to what many people think, being charged for an overweight bag is not a “hidden” cost. Just read the conditions of carriage, doh!

    As for all these “hidden” costs suddenly making Iberia competitive. This is simply not true. Even buying a Ryanair fare the day before travel, I have yet to find a cheaper Iberia option. Ryanair don’t always beat other low cost airlines though, so I sometimes fly from Sevilla (Clickair) or Gibraltar (Easy/BA) to the UK.

    Ryanair planes are no more “cattle truck style” than Iberia or many other short haul airlines (and many long haul).

    I agree about the Stansted transport options can be limited late at night, but that’s got nothing to do with Ryanair, and is the case at most UK airports. For me flying from Gibraltar (Easy/BA) is an alternative, but try finding convenient public transport to/from Jerez – at any time of the day.

    All airlines experience serious delays and in 3 years of flying with Ryanair this has happened to me once (fog at Stansted). As for check in, usually that runs smoothly, although yesterday there was a massive computer problem at Stansted. Not Ryanair’s fault though, because the computers belong to Swissport. We were late-ish boarding and to top that our plane missed its slot because a passenger did not turn up at the gate and their luggage had to be offloaded. Even so we got into Jerez with only a 10 minute delay.

    I wholeheartedly agree that security is a joke, but that has nothing to do with Ryanair. They don’t make the rules or even implement them (apart from asking a few questions at check-in). In the UK you can easily buy nail-files and sissors airside at Boots and possibly even more dangerous “weapons”.

    Ryanair don’t stop two people using the same check-in bag, just as long as it weighs less than 15kg, and the reason for a weight limit is to speed up loading and offloading, which improves turn-around times, which improves efficiency, which means lower fares.

    If you want “service” charter yourself a private jet. Not even the “full fat” airlines are giving any of that out any more, with the exception perhaps (in my experience) of Lufthansa.

    For cash-poor time-rich people like me, Ryanair is a godsend.

  4. Seems to me you ALWAYS get what you pay for… in anything.
    When I want top notch service on a plane flight, I fly Business or 1st Class. When I just want to GET there inexpensively… RYANAIR is hard to beat.
    To the Local and Regional governments that are complaining about RYANAIR subsidy demands,it’s is a free competitive society… get competitive bids from IBERIA, BA, etc

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