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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 08:34 GMT
MP demands Ryanair rethink
Ryanair's flights are subsidised by council tax payers
A Cornish MP says it could be time to kick cut-price airline Ryanair out of services to Newquay.

The low-cost airline has been given discounted landing charges by Newquay airport since it started services to Cornwall in March 2002.

But airport bosses claim the reduced rates have forced the airport into a 750,000 debt.

Executive members of Cornwall County Council, which runs the airport, are expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the future of the airport.

North Cornwall MP Mr Tyler, whose constituency includes Newquay, said the deal with Ryanair should never have been agreed.

We don't want a subsidised airport which pours money into the profits of any one particular airline
Paul Tyler, MP

He said: "At the moment we are paying a huge amount to subsidise Ryanair's profits and their passenger fares and the only people that seem to be benefiting is Ryanair.

"I am sure we would get another low-cost airline to come in, but bribing an airline to give us a cut-price deal doesn't make long-term sense for the county.

"What we need are viable airlines with viable services and a viable airport.

"We don't want a subsidised airport which pours money into the profits of any one particular airline."

EC ruling

The number of passengers at Newquay has soared in the past two years, from 85,000 a year to nearly 250,000.

It is estimated that the airport brought in more than 17m into the Cornish economy last year.

But Mr Tyler said it should not be at the expense of council tax payers.

"I don't think we should be in anyone's pocket and we should be looking around at who can produce the best deal, not just for passengers going in and out of Cornwall, but for the council tax payers in the county."

Mr Tyler's concerns follow a European Commission ruling that subsidies paid to Ryanair by a Belgian airport are illegal.

Ryanair has refused to comment on the future of the Newquay to Stansted service in the light of the ruling.

Paul Tyler, MP
"I object to someone being in a position to browbeat us"

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19 Sep 03  |  Cornwall

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