Ryanair does disappearing act

As Ryanair switched to its summer schedule, some unfortunate expats discovered that their local route had slipped from the timetable.

Regular fliers between Nantes and London Stansted were most perplexed when they discovered that the company was not accepting bookings for flights after 31 March 2009. Ryanair’s press office refused to confirm whether the Nantes-London route was gone for good. “The route is seasonal and will not run during the summer,” commented Stephen McNamara. Bizarre given that the Nantes-London route has run year-round since its inception and carries over 150,000 passengers every year.

However, some expats have been told a very different story by representatives at Nantes airport, who confirmed that the route has been cancelled due to a dispute over fees and taxes. Nantes airport is said to be looking for an alternative carrier to resume services.

This is not the first time that Ryanair has cancelled routes after a bust up with airport authorities over fees. In March the company announced redundancies and a reduction of services from Dublin airport, blaming Ireland’s €10 tourist tax, and, in February, the company announced that it was reducing services from Liverpool John Lennon airport after the airport refused to reduce its levies.

Meanwhile, after mooting its idea to charge customers �1 to use the facilities on-board, Ryanair is offering an �1,000 cash prize to the person who comes up with the most creative cost-saving idea. One such suggestion is charging for toilet paper – with O’Leary’s face on it. I’m guessing those left stranded at Nantes would be prepared to pay for a sheet. Passengers can submit their ideas by email to competition@ryanair.com.