Ryanair has announced the closure of their bases in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Girona on the mainland. The airline has said the closures are part of their efforts to reduce costs to mitigate the delay in deliveries of the 737 Max aircraft, together with rising fuel and staff costs. Around 500 staff based in the Spanish airports may lose their jobs.
In a letter to employees, the airline said it would be closing the Lanzarote base on 8th January 2020, and that it is planning dismissal of the 82 employees in Lanzarote on that date, although it said they would offer, where possible, transfers to other locations.
Ryanair commenced flying to Lanzarote in 2009, and opened its base here in 2011. It is the most important airline for Lanzarote’s tourist industry bringing 1.5 million visitors a year to the island.
At this stage it is not possible to predict any effect on flights into and out of Lanzarote. It is hoped that most routes will continue, with the aircraft and crews based elsewhere in Europe, but there will certainly be flight time changes as there will no longer be early morning departures or late arrivals, as the aircraft will no longer be based here overnight.
There are likely to be some route cuts across Europe as the airline’s planning for 2020 was originally based on having the larger 737 Max aircraft.
Update 31/08/2019: Looking at Ryanair’s website, it looks like the following routes have already been affected:
Knock: Currently the last flight from Knock is 4th January 2020
Berlin: Currently the last flight from Berlin is 4th January 2020
Rome: Currently the last flight from Rome is 4th January 2020
Valencia: Currently the last flight from Valencia is 3rd January 2020
Newcastle: Currently the last flight from Newcastle is 4th January 2020
Edinburgh. Currently there are 3 flights per week to Lanzarote, this is reducing to 1.
Cork: Currently there are 4 flights per week to Lanzarote, this is reducing to 2.
Several routes between Lanzarote and the mainland also appear to be disappearing by next summer, including Valencia, Zaragosa, Santander and Santiago de Compostela.
The Canary Islands tourism department is seeking to arrange a meeting with the airline’s senior management in early September, in a bid to persuade them to reverse the decision.
Ryanair has seen its profits slide by over 40% over the last two years, and has been plagued by industrial action by staff. The unions representing their Spanish staff will be striking for ten days in September.
We’ll keep this updated as any news comes in.
Here’s the latest brief news bulletin about Lanzarote, including the current heat wave: Brief news.
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