Ryanair Cuts UK Service

Reuters and other sources are reporting that Irish airline Ryanair will cut UK winter capacity by 16 percent starting in November. The airline is blaming the UK government's Air Passenger Duty (APD), and claims that the move would lower its costs and boost profits.

The airline said it will switch these London-based aircraft to lower-cost European bases, where governments have scrapped "tourist taxes" and reduced passenger charges, resulting in the loss of over 2 million passengers at UK airports.

Ryanair said capacity at London Stansted will be reduced by 17 percent with the loss of up to 1.5 million passengers at the airport between November and March 2011.

It said this could lead to 2,500 jobs being cut at the airport, of which less than 200 are expected to come from within Ryanair. It cut winter capacity at Stansted last year by 14 percent.

Ryanair will also cut winter flights at most of its other UK bases, except Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford.

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