Ryanair drops airfares to Catalonia over secession crisis

February 13, 2018
Ryanair says it took a sharp cut in airfares to fill flights to Barcelona

Ryanair said Tuesday it slashed airfares to Catalonia to continue filling its planes, blaming the secession crisis for keeping visitors away.

"We have managed to maintain our traffic to and from our three Barcelona airports but only by reducing our prices by about 30 percent," Michael O'Leary, head of the low-cost carrier, told reporters in Madrid.

"If traffic numbers are holding up, it's only because airfares have fallen by 30 percent.

"That is a real challenge for us going forward."

Ryanair flies to the cities of Barcelona, Girona and Reus in Catalonia.

O'Leary said the decision to reduce prices was taken in October just as the world's cameras focused on mass protests in Barcelona after a banned independence referendum was marred by police violence.

"There's a nervousness in passengers booking to Catalonia, particularly travellers on city breaks, in the UK, Ireland, Germany," said O'Leary.

The uncertainty caused by the ongoing independence crisis has impacted the tourism sector in the much-visited region which has seen a 10 to 15 percent drop in turnover.

More than 3,200 companies have also moved their legal headquarters out of Catalonia.

According to a report by the BBVA bank, Catalonia will this year create "35,000 fewer work positions compared to what would have been created without uncertainty."

But it adds the "outlook for the first quarter of 2018 is still good."

Explore further: Ryanair launches court action against Google, eDreams

Related Stories

Ryanair launches court action against Google, eDreams

December 1, 2015

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair on Tuesday said it had launched court action against Internet giant Google and online travel agent eDreams, accusing them of misleading customers and not offering the best deal.

Does violence lead away from freedom?

July 14, 2015

Independence is more likely to be successful for countries where the struggle has been peaceful, than in places where violence has been used, according to a new study at the University of St Andrews.

Wildfire in Spain ravages 1,200 hectares

July 27, 2015

A wildfire raging in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia on Monday has destroyed over 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of land and forced the evacuation of some 800 people, local officials said.

Spain to cull 17,000 ducks as bird flu hits

February 23, 2017

More than 17,000 ducks will be culled in Spain after a highly contagious bird flu strain that has affected poultry throughout Europe was detected at a farm, authorities said Thursday.

Air pollution alert raised in Barcelona

December 10, 2013

Authorities have raised an air pollution alert for the Spanish city of Barcelona, a major tourist draw which has lain for days under a toxic grey mist, an official said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.