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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Ryanair confirms Larnaca suspensions but Cypriot authorities say talks continuing ]

Ryanair confirms Larnaca suspensions but Cypriot authorities say talks continuing

Author: 
Natalie Hami

CONFUSION over the situation with Ryanair increased yesterday when the airline said it was suspending Larnaca flights from November, yet was taking bookings for Barcelona on its website at least up until next February.

The low-cost airline is currently in negotiations with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and airport operator Hermes. It wants to double the amount it receives from the CTO for promoting its Cyprus routes, citing increased fuel costs.

However when asked yesterday, Ryanair’s Maria Macken, sales manager for the Cypriot market told the Cyprus Mail in an email that the airline would be suspending flights to and from Larnaca for the winter.

“Due to a combination of high fuel costs and traditionally low fares during the winter we have had to suspend all routes during the winter 2012/13 season,” she said.

She added that they were not looking at summer 2013 yet but would make every effort to ensure they return by working with the airport and tourist groups.

However Hermes Airports’ spokesman Adamos Aspris, said they were still waiting for a reply from the airline.

“We were informed that they want to review it but we haven’t had their final positions to know which routes will be affected,” said Aspris.

Despite the confirmation from Ryanair on suspensions, flights to Barcelona Girona can still be booked throughout the winter from their website. However flights to Bologna cannot be booked from November. Flights to Brussels and Dusseldorf also cannot be booked throughout the winter other than a few at the beginning of November.

Asked via email how it was possible to book flights to Barcelona after November if Larnaca had been suspended, Macken said in her email: “Ryanair is unaware of any issues with booking flights on www.ryanair.com”.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) said this week they did not have the money asked for by Ryanair to keep it flying into Larnaca, putting in jeopardy the agreement that has been in place since 2010.

CTO chairman Alekos Oroundiotis said it was not financially possible for the CTO.

Questioned yesterday on the agreement made with the CTO, Macken said that they “never comment on rumour or speculation and cannot discuss confidential agreements”.

But sources close to the negotiations told the Cyprus Mail that Ryanair may have come out and said that they were suspending flights as a way of exerting pressure during the negotiations. The sources said other airlines were waiting on Ryanair’s response so they could step in and fill the gap. 

Since 2010 Ryanair has been flying to four secondary European airports from Larnaca; Dusseldorf Weeze, Barcelona Girona, Bologna and Brussels Charleroi, and set up a hub in Paphos earlier this year from where it operates 15 destinations.

Reports suggest Ryanair wants landing fees abolished there.

 

 



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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