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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Airline chief flies into name row
Glasgow Airport
BAA said Glasgow International Airport performed well
An airline chief executive is to formally challenge the use of the name Glasgow International Airport because he claims it is misleading.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary said the service provided to international passengers by operator BAA is so poor that it should be renamed Glasgow Domestic.

During a visit to Prestwick Airport to promote a new Ryanair route to Gothenburg, he accused BAA of doing a poor job of promoting Scottish tourism.

Mr O'Leary said Prestwick in Ayrshire should be renamed Glasgow International Airport in recognition of its increased traffic.

But BAA spokesman Malcolm Robertson said the company was investing "significant time, money and effort" in Scotland's main airports.

"I'm sure the fact that Glasgow International Airport handled nearly 3.5 million international passengers last year, significantly more than Prestwick's entire throughput, coupled with the fact that Prestwick is not even in Glasgow, will have a direct bearing on the outcome of this specific complaint and that the names will remain exactly as they are," he said.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary
At Glasgow they will effectively take you to Heathrow and Birmingham
Michael O'Leary
Mr O'Leary said that he would press the advertising and trading standards authorities over the airport's name.

He described BAA as the "high cost, high fare, airport monopoly".

Mr O'Leary added: "Prestwick has more international destinations, more routes, where at Glasgow they will effectively take you to Heathrow and Birmingham."

He claimed BAA had been "building buildings that nobody wants but using all its influence with the government to get it done".

He said: "Glasgow Prestwick, Scotland's real international airport, is offering 10 international routes bringing in 2 million people a year. It is now the gateway for Scottish tourism."

Prestwick Airport's Gothenburg route will begin from 16 October, with Ryanair predicting it will carry up to 100,000 passengers every year.

Philip Riddle, VisitScotland chief executive, said an extra route between Scotland and Sweden would give tourism a welcome boost.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary
"It is misleading to the Scottish public and visitors to Scotland."

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