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Ryanair Threaten To Cut Canary Island Routes

Monday January 30, 2012

Ryanair Threaten To Cut Canary Island Routes

The budget airline Ryanair has threatened to cut some of its existing routes to the Canary Islands in light of possible subsidy cuts under consideration by the Minister for Energy, Industry and Tourism in the Spanish Government. At present, airlines flying to the main Canary Island airports receive a tax subsidy as an incentive to maintain their routes.

However, as the financial crisis continues to bite in the Spanish economy, the government is having to look at ways in which it can save money. The regional president for the Canaries, Paulino Rivero has already expressed the concern local businesses and government are feeling about the potential damage to the tourist industry.

The Spanish spokesman for Ryanair, Luis Fernandez, confirmed yesterday that there are several routes the airline currently offers which would not be competitively viable if the exisiting subsidy is cancelled. In contrast, there are many other routes to European destinations which are far more lucrative for the low cost airline to provide flights to.

The extent to which the current subsidies have helped Ryanair to boost tourism to the Canary Island archipelago is evidenced by the increase in flights sold in 2011 as compared with 2010. Last year four and a half million people flew to the Canary Islands, almost double the 2.3 million passengers who chose to fly there in 2010.

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