Heading to Alicante? Not anymore, say Ryanair
Ryanair can throw its weight around at many of the European airports it flies to, because Ryanair is a big deal in delivering passengers and revenue to not only the airports, but the regions they serve.
They're at it quite a lot, actually; pulling flights because of competition or low passenger numbers is par for the course, but the budget airline is forever pulling out of airports over spats with management.
Today they've done it again. Ryanair has announced it is pulling half of its routes - 31 in total - out of Alicante, in a row about stairs.
Airport authorities Aena is demanding all flights begin using airbridges instead of stairs to board flights. Ryanair is having a fit, not only because they claim the cost of introducing the service will cost them 2 million euros, but because it will mean that its aircraft can only be entered and exited from the front doors of the aircraft, instead of both front and rear - meaning quick turnarounds for boarding and disembarking won't be so quick.
Ryanair are therefore withdrawing half its routes from Alicante as of October this year. That threat alone may be enough to make Aena reconsider. 9.4 million passengers pass through Alicante airport every year and Ryanair is responsible for more than four million of them. By threatening to pull its most popular routes, Ryanair will only contribute 1.5 million.
The decision, if it goes ahead, will see a dozen UK routes disappear - grim news if you've relatives or a holiday home at either end of the route. Airports that will lose flights to Alicante include Bournemouth, Doncaster, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Gatwick, Standsted, Liverpool, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Bristol and Birmingham.