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Never a dull moment at Ryanair, which has suspended three of its UK routes to France until 2007 due to disappointing advance bookings. The routes affected are Luton to Brest, Nottingham to Nîmes and Stansted to Deauville. However, Ryanair is adamant that these services will start up again from next February and says that the cancellations release one aircraft for what it describes as “route development”.
This month Ryanair expects to announce another European base and a number of new routes from existing hubs. It remains to be seen whether this European base is created instead of, or in addition to, its new base at Marseille, due to operate services to 13 European airports from next month, including daily flights to London Stansted. That plan ran into legal difficulties when Air France asked a local court to prevent the airport from allowing its new terminal to be used exclusively by low-cost airlines, and at a much lower rate than the existing terminal used predominantly by the French national carrier.
Ryanair, not noted for easily accepting defeat, filed its own lawsuit in Brussels alleging that Air France had abused its dominant trading position. Ryanair claims Air France was offered, but rejected, space in the new terminal on the same terms as the low-cost carriers. Of course, Air France much preferred to keep flying into the original terminal, better located and offering full ground facilities for passengers, so there was never any real prospect of it helping the new terminal, so to speak, to get off the ground.
From our October 2006 newsletter