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Ryanair cuts capacity at Irish airports

Ryanair has announced that it will reduce capacity for the winter season at both Dublin and Shannon airports, and has blamed the Irish government’s €10 tourist tax – or Air Passenger Duty – as the reason for its move.

One plane will be removed from each airport, reducing the number of aircraft at Dublin to 16, and to three at Shannon.

The move will mean that Dublin will lose 44 flights per week, along with 350 jobs, and Shannon will see a loss of 36 weekly flights and 300 jobs.

For the first five months of this year, the budget airline’s Dublin traffic has dropped off by 11 per cent, Ryanair has claimed.

The carrier is warning that further winter season cutbacks and a continued decline in passenger numbers will be forthcoming if the Irish government does not do away with the tourist tax.

It added that the winter capacity cuts could be reversed if the passenger duty is scrapped.

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “The Irish Government’s €10 tourist tax is ‘tourism suicide’ which is devastating visitor numbers and jobs.”

O’Leary went on to say: “Price sensitive visitors are switching to lower cost destinations in Europe where governments welcome tourists, not tax them.”

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