Budget airline eyeing APD cut
Ryanair plans more connections to Europe
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary is putting Scotland at the heart of his latest expansion drive, suggesting that he may have been alerted to an early cut in air passenger duty (APD) by the Scottish government.
Mr O’Leary, who is known for keeping a keen eye on costs, has been a big supporter of Holyrood’s campaign to determine APD and the promise of extra flights between Scotland and European cities will be seen as a reward if ministers fulfil their promise.
The Smith Commission recommended APD be transferred to Holyrood and British Airways boss Willie Walsh said last year that if Scotland was to get such powers thousands of passengers would travel from the north of England to save hundreds of pounds in fares.
Mr O’Leary today announced a new Glasgow-Berlin route and said there would be more flights from Edinburgh. It will increase its Edinburgh-London Stansted service from 3 to 4 times daily this winter.
The new service will operate between Berlin Schönefeld and Glasgow, initially five times a week. EasyJet, flies to the same airport.
Ryanair is expecting delivery of new aircraft from Boeing which offers the opportunity for more routes to be opened up.
Scotland’s big three airports – Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow – called for APD to be scrapped as it is seen as a huge burden on passengers and a barrier to economic growth.
The joint submission claimed that APD is resulting in two million fewer passengers travelling to Scotland every year.