Ryanair to cut routes out of Glasgow from 23 to just three

The carrier will move the connections to Edinburgh and axe 300 jobs

Europe’s largest budget carrier, Ryanair, will close its base in Glasgow and move it to the city’s arch rival, Edinburgh. The carrier has blamed the Scottish government for the changes as they have failed to reduce Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax, despite Holyrood’s promises.

Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, David O’Brien said: “Ryanair regrets these cuts in the weaker Glasgow market where efforts to stimulate low fare demand are severely hampered by the continuing burden of APD.”

“As a result, we will transfer our Glasgow International based aircraft to Edinburgh in November where we will offer 11 new low fare routes (45 in total including London Stansted) and deliver over 3.5m passengers per annum at Edinburgh Airport.”

Currently, the tax of £13 represents almost a third of the carrier’s average fare. The Scottish government vowed to halve the APD in 2016. However, the cut has been deferred.

“This should not come as a surprise to the government, we did say that our growth in Glasgow was based on their promise to abolish APD, which morphed into a promise to half APD, which suddenly has disappeared into the ether and quite frankly we don’t have any more patience,” O’Brien added.

From current 23 routes out of Glasgow, the airline will keep only three – to Dublin, Krakow and Wroclaw. The rest of the connections, to the city of Derry, Lisbon, Sofia, Riga and Berlin, will transfer to Edinburgh, from which the carrier plans to launch new routes to Gothenburg, Hamburg, Memmingen in Bavaria, Stockholm Skavsta, Seville and Tallinn.

Around 300 hundred jobs could be lost or transferred from Glasgow as a result of the base closure.

Glasgow will have fewer routes than Ryanair’s former base in Scotland, Prestwick which is 35 miles south-west of the city.

“There are other markets in the UK and Europe which offer a more compelling proposition,” O’Brien said.