About 600 jobs are at risk at Manchester airport after Ryanair's decision today to close nine of its 10 Manchester routes from October.
Europe's largest short-haul airline, which operates 850 routes in 26 countries, blamed Manchester airport's refusal to lower its charges. The move will result in the loss of 44 weekly Manchester flights, 600,000 passengers a year and up to 600 local jobs.
The Dublin-based low-cost carrier said it had offered Manchester an additional 28 weekly flights and 400,000 new passengers, which would have created 400 new jobs if the airport "reduced its high charges". Manchester airport rejected this offer.
As a result, Ryanair's Manchester routes to and from Barcelona-Girona, Bremen, Brussels, Cagliari, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt-Hahn, Marseille, Milan and Shannon will close from 1 October. Passengers affected will be emailed directly by Ryanair and provided with a full refund or the alternative of flying to some destinations from "lower cost" airports including East Midlands, its new Leeds Bradford base and Liverpool. Ryanair is retaining its Manchester route to and from Dublin.