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Ryanair Graz - London route axed over airport costs

Ryanair has axed its route between Graz and London from its summer flightplan

The airline said that the reason for the decision to stop the flight was the higher costs at Graz airport, a claim which the Austrians rejected as unfounded.

Ryanair said they had requested that Graz airport reduce the recently increased costs but the request had been refused. They said other European airports had agreed to reduce their costs in order to boost traffic.

Airport boss Gerhard Widmann said they had been in negotiations with the airline for a month and went to the absolute limit that they could economically manage in a bid to settle the dispute. He also said the timing was strange as he understood the negotiations were still ongoing if slow and there was still possibilities to explore.

He said the airport was keen to create a direct connection between Graz and London if not with Ryanair then with another airline, but said that despite the decision it would not put jobs at risk. Ryanair has already made it clear that if a better offer is made they would reconsider their position.

Ryanair however said they estimated that with the loss of 60,000 passengers it would mean about 60 jobs going. But the airport boss said that the passengers would simply divert their flights to Frankfurt and Berlin.

The airport is already in talks with other airlines that might be interested in taking over the route.

Widmann said: "I think it's possible that we can get at least one other airline to operate on the route for us."

In the meantime what has been fixed is a cooperation with regional airline Intersky that from January of next year will travel from Graz to Zürich twice a day and to Milan once a day.

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