Ryanair to cut 42 Riga flights as Latvian government introduces €6.50 security tax
300,000 passengers, 300 jobs and €30m tourism revenues lost
Ryanair, the world’s favourite airline, 30th Nov. confirmed that it will cut 42 weekly flights to/from Riga Airport, from 12th January, resulting in the loss of over 300,000 passengers, 300 jobs and over €30m in tourism revenues, after the Latvian Government imposed a €6.50 security tax from 1st January. Ryanair has written to Transport Minister, Mr Aivis Ronis, to confirm the closure of routes to/from Bristol and Bremen and flight cuts on eight other routes, including London, Milan and Rome, resulting in 42 fewer weekly flights to/from Riga, as a direct result of this insane €6.50 security tax.
Ryanair emphasised the devastating impact such taxes have had on passenger traffic in the UK, Germany and Ireland and confirmed that passengers to/from Riga are extremely price sensitive and unwilling to pay the Latvian government’s high travel taxes. Ryanair highlighted that tourist taxes were scrapped in Belgium and Holland after their governments studied the devastating impact such taxes have on tourism and jobs.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:
“Ryanair’s passenger growth has transformed Riga airport and delivered real competition to the Latvian market while creating and sustaining thousands of jobs. The silly decision by the Latvian government to introduce an unavoidable €6.50 security tax, despite undeniable international evidence that such taxes result in steep traffic declines, will devastate passenger traffic and jobs.
Ryanair will now adjust its capacity at Riga airport downwards, in response to the inevitable fall in demand following the introduction of this tax, which will result in 42 fewer weekly flights, 300,000 fewer passengers and the loss of at least 300 jobs and over €30m in tourism revenues. These cuts can be avoided if the government learns from the negative impact these taxes have had in other European countries and reverses its decision to tax tourists instead of welcoming them.”