Ryanair will withdraw from four airports in Romania in spring 2023, air transport portal Boardingpass.ro reported.
According to the portal, the budget airline will suspend all flights from the airports of three Transylvanian cities – Oradea (Nagyvárad), Timisoara (Temesvár), Sibiu (Nagyszeben) – and northeastern Suceava indefinitely. Ryanair is not withdrawing completely from Romania and will continue to operate a total of 41 flights from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) in Transylvania and the northeastern Iași airports after March.
When asked, the airline explained that
the four airports were forced to exit due to “lack of long-term incentives.”
According to the Ebihoreanul.ro portal, the city of Oradea agreed with the airline in the fall of 2020 to operate four international flights from the airport, which had just been modernized at the time, in return for a subsidy of 800,000 euros. Half of the amount was paid when the contract was signed, the other half when operations resumed. Three months after the subsidy contract expired, Ryanair announced its withdrawal.
Marius Gidea, director of Sibiu Airport, told local portal Turnulsfatului.ro that the airline had asked for a higher subsidy than the one granted by the airport, but this had not been possible. He added that they were trying to negotiate with other operators to close the gap.
Ryanair also had problems with “lack of incentives” in Hungary. The Hungarian government introduced an additional profit tax as recently as the summer, which Ryanair immediately passed on to customers. As a result, consumer protection proceedings were initiated against the airline.
In a statement, Michael O’Leary, CEO of the airline, repeatedly called the “special taxes” nonsensical, and the public dispute between Ryanair and the government even went so far as to have O’Leary call the Minister of Economic Development, Márton Nagy, stupid for criticizing Ryanair’s activities.
Finally, O’Leary announced that the number of flights would be reduced and thus eight cities would no longer be served from Budapest as of October. This reduced the number of Ryanair flights in Hungary from 53 to 45.
This article was originally published on our sister site Ungarn Heute.
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