Ryanair quits Newquay

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Low cost airline Ryanair is pulling out of Newquay Airport with the withdrawal of its summer service to Alicante.

The airline said it made its decision in protest to the Council’s ongoing £5 airport development fee, which departing passengers have had to pay since 2006. Ryanair claims the tax deters customers.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “We have had an issue with the £5 fee since it started. It is a significant fee and we do not believe it should continue.”

It is the second blow for the airport in as many weeks, after Air Southwest announced that it is pulling out of its route to London Gatwick from the end of January.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is all very curious. For a start, Newquay airport has been charging the £5 tax for several years now and Ryanair has continued to operate from there. I suspect the decision is either financial or customer numbers are indeed down for this route and that the £5 tax is simply being used as an excuse.

    Also, I have used this route personally for the last four years for family holidays and something very strange happened this year. I booked as soon as the flights went on sale (as I have always done previously) on the 10th November. Despite Ryanair publicising an increase of 10% on last years prices, I paid over double for the Newquay-Alicante route compared to 2010 prices. This makes the £5 airport tax pale into insignificance.

    Six weeks later, I then received an email from Ryanair (on 23rd December) informing me that they had cancelled this route and that I could apply for a refund or have my tickets converted by them (free of charge) to fly from either Bristol or Bournemouth. I did a bit of investigating and found that Bristol would indeed be about the same price but the flight times were awkward (6.30am flight out with 3kids isn’t a fun start to a holiday). Bouremouth had much better flight times and the cost for my whole family’s flights were HALF PRICE. So I requested a refund for the Newquay flights, rebooked the Bournemouth flights and waited to pocket the difference. And waited. And waited. And I’m still waiting for my refund.

    The original email said it would take 5-10 days to process my refund and another 5-7 days for my bank to process it into my account. I thought that sucked a bit, especially with all the bank holidays over the christmas period. But I guess Ryanair and the banks need the money in their accounts more than I do huh?

    I then received another email on 29th December saying that due to bad weather and lots of cancellations it was now going to take 28 days to process my refund!

    Now I was hacked off. 28days to process an electronic refund? No way. So I responded to Ryanair’s email pointing out that according to regulation EC 261/2004 (Article 8) I was entitled to a full refund within 7 days. Ryanair didn’t reply. So I followed it up on the 7th January. Ryanair didn’t respond. I spent twenty minutes in a telephone queue on 11th January (at a cost of 10p a minute) and got nowhere. I finally got through to them today (after another 5mins on the phone) and they claim that they processed my refund yesterday. So by my estimation the money might be in my account some time in the next two weeks.

    In summary; blaming the £5 airport tax sounds like an excuse. Why did they sell flights for six weeks then cancel the route? Why does it take 28days to process an electronic refund? Why have their prices increased 100% yet they claim it is only 10%? And why is this story only released to media today (18th January) when they clearly knew on 23rd December, if not earlier?

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