RYANAIR has scrapped a plan to introduce flights between Almeria and Liverpool, after the tourist board backed out of supporting the route.
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara has expressed his criticism of the move, saying it could result in ‘the loss of ten thousand British tourists, and nine million euros to the local economy’.
He accused the Almeria Tourist Board of putting its largest source of revenue – tourism – at risk.
Local restaurant owner John Beachcomber, however, believes Ryanair is trying to force Almeria into paying expensive subsidies to the airline – by threatening to instead run services to the soon-to-open Corvera airport in Murcia, 180km away.
“I bet this is the usual bully boy tactics from Ryanair,” said the Englishman, who runs a restaurant in Mojacar.
“They are just asking for subsidies – they did it in Granada too. They’re saying, ‘if you don’t do as we say, we’ll be going to Corvera instead.’”
In May 2010 Ryanair cancelled 28 weekly flights to Granada after the city hall stopped paying special subsidies to the budget carrier.
“And the worst thing is, they’ve forgotten to tell all the customers who have already booked flights,” added Beachcomber. “You can’t trust Ryanair.”