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Ryanair takes it ball home.

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Ryanair takes it ball home.

Old 26th Aug 2003, 20:22
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Ryanair takes it ball home.

Ryanair suspends Strasbourg route
Tue 26 August, 2003 12:56 BST

By Michael Roddy

DUBLIN (Reuters) - No-frills airline Ryanair Holdings says it will suspend its London-Strasbourg service in a row over regional subsidies it receives to fly to secondary European airports.

It was the first time the fast-growing carrier has suspended a service in the face of challenges by competitors, who claim it won unfair contracts to fly to smaller airports.

The European Commission has launched a wider probe into such deals, focusing mainly on Ryanair's contract to use Charleroi Airport in Belgium. A ruling is expected in the autumn.

Ryanair RYA.L said it had no choice but to halt the Strasbourg service, giving four weeks' notice, after it failed to win a stay of a lower court ruling that the aid Ryanair obtained was illegal.

Ryanair said that from September 24, it would shift flights to Baden Baden Airport in Germany, 40 km from Strasbourg.

"If and when we receive a stay on the judgment (or win the appeal), then Ryanair will make arrangements to recommence flights on the London-Strasbourg route," the airline said in a statement.

The Irish carrier denounced French flag carrier Air France AIRF.PA for mounting the legal challenge to the deal Ryanair struck with a local chamber of commerce to start up the route last year.

"It is wrong that anti-competitive court actions of Air France should result in the Strasbourg and the Alsace region losing -- even on a temporary basis -- its only scheduled air service to London," Ryanair said.

The Bas-Rhin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which manages the airport in eastern France, promised in June 2002 to give the carrier 1.4 million euros to set up two daily round-trip flights between London's Stansted and the capital of the Alsace region.

Brit Air, an Air France subsidiary, was forced to cancel its London-Strasbourg link in face of competition and launched an appeal, saying the aid distorted competition.

Analysts said the Strasbourg-London flight represented one percent of Ryanair's network and they expected little impact on the company.

"It's certainly been well flagged by the company they would suspend the service unless they got the stay," said John Mattimoe, an analyst at Merrion Capital.

Ryanair shares were down 0.15 percent at 6.59 euros in Dublin at 12:52 p.m.
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Old 26th Aug 2003, 23:49
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I think you mean they will go to Karlsruhe-Baden Airport and not Baden-Baden ! I would love to see a 737 landing in EDTB !

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Old 26th Aug 2003, 23:53
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I think that it's a case here of "don't shoot the messenger" as Ryanair's press release claims they will be operating to Baden Baden airport - however on their booking engine it does say Karlsruhe-Baden. What goes in there at the moment?

Last edited by brabazon; 27th Aug 2003 at 00:13.
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Old 27th Aug 2003, 00:03
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Earlier this year we had Air Berlin flying a 146 on the STN-FKB route. It didn't last long and the load factors were never good, let's hope Ryanair can convince their pax to fly to FKB and then travel onwards from there.
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Old 27th Aug 2003, 00:59
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Brabazon : sorry, yes the comm guys probably got their German map wrong..
Karsruhe -Baden is the new name for Sollingen, the old Canadian AF base. Huge potential, plenty of concrete but like many others it is in the middle of nowhere. If I was Ryanair I would call it Frankfurt West .
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Old 27th Aug 2003, 03:33
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"Zürich North" would be more accurate wouldn't it?
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Old 28th Aug 2003, 04:28
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DCS99 -
Since when did accuracy matter?

Leery O'Michael
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Old 28th Aug 2003, 07:53
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Same old Ryanair bashing.Bbbbbbbbbooooooooorrrrriiinnnnnnnnnggggggg Yawn Yawn Yawn
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Old 28th Aug 2003, 17:40
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But yet again FR have managed to come out with a benefit from this - a 5 minute piece on the BBC 10 o'clock news last night about how fantastic FR was for the local economies for where they fly !! For all there sins, they have a great marketing/pr dept.
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Old 29th Aug 2003, 02:06
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Ironic that the original complaint came from Air France who have the biggest back handers going!
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Old 29th Aug 2003, 02:35
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I am pretty sure that I would dislike MOL if I met him, but I have to take my hat off to his operation. Getting a daily (or better) Ryanair service can have major economic benefits to a town, and of course those who will benefit are prepared to put some money up front.

I bet that the railway companies had exactly the same experience 150 years ago.
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