Ryanair has announced it will reinstate four routes from Glasgow airport that were cut earlier this year.
The airline reduced its operations from the Scottish airport in February, blaming the “burden” of Air Passenger Duty (APD). It moved its Derry, Lisbon, Sofia, Riga and Berlin services to Edinburgh, only maintaining the Dublin, Krakow and Wroclaw flights.
Now the low-cost carrier says it will reintroduce services to Warsaw on 1 April 2019, as well as Alicante, Brussels Charleroi and Malaga on 2 April.
Glasgow airport managing director Mark Johnston welcomed the news, saying: “The introduction of these services is hopefully a first step to Ryanair re-establishing a strong presence here and we are really pleased the airline recognises our position as the West of Scotland’s principal airport and gateway to the region’s huge market.”
Johnston also sided with Ryanair on the issue of Air Passenger Duty (UK only): An excise duty charged on the carriage of passengers flying on an aircraft with an authorised take off weight of more than ten tonnes or more than twenty seats. Due when ..., commenting: “While we rightly celebrate the return of these services in addition to the three we retained at the time, it is worth remembering that at its peak Ryanair operated a further 16 routes which supported a significant number of jobs at its Glasgow airport base.
“This regressive tax continues to put the country’s air services at risk and action must be taken to address this. That is why we are again calling on both the Scottish and Westminster governments to work together to break the current deadlock around Air Departure Tax.”
Scottish ministers passed a bill to replace APD with a new devolved Air Departure Tax in June 2017, with the aim of reducing the charge by 50 per cent before eventually scrapping it altogether, but the process was stalled in October 2017 pending EU approval and has yet to be resolved.