By Nicola Cowell
BRITONS living in Cadiz province are to be left stranded this winter as Ryanair confirmed it was to pull out of Jerez airport.
The move comes, ironically, as Jerez town hall prepared to celebrate the opening of a brand new departures lounge, raising the capacity of the airport to three million.
The Irish airline, which has been expanding its routes to Sevilla and Malaga, has decided to completely stop its direct link from London to Jerez between November and March.
The move comes as a huge blow to British residents living in Jerez and along the Costa de la Luz.
If they want to fly from the airport, they will now have to connect via Madrid, Barcelona or Palma.
It also means La Parra airport now has no scheduled international flights during the winter months.
Joana Francis from Hotel Chancilleria in Jerez, who usually does a good trade over Christmas, says it is sure to affect hotel owners.
She said: “This is certainly not helping in the middle of the recession and it’s really quite concerning that we have had hardly any bookings from November onwards.
“Them stopping flights to Frankfurt last year has already affected businesses here.”
She added: “They could do so much more to sell this area but it seems that now they are just giving up.”
Director of Ryanair in Spain, Luis Fernandez, confirmed the moves, adding: “Operating costs in Jerez are very high and demand drops a lot in winter.
He added: “In the UK, everybody knows the Costa del Sol, but the same can’t be said for Jerez.”