KRISTIANSTAD (Sweden): Ryanair will cease operating its traffic between London-Stansted and Kristianstad (Sweden) from 24 March. Ryanair has operated the service since May 1998.
Thomas Bengtsson, Managing Director of Kristiansstad Airport, says to NORDIC TRAVEL REPORT that Ryanair is under contractual obligation to operate the service till April 2003, and that the airport is now investigating whether it is possible to sue Ryanair for damages.
Bengtsson adds that the cooperation between the carrier and the airport has not been without problems lately. For instance Ryanair terminated an agreement about a ticket office, run by the airport, with only 48 hours notice.
That Ryanair now suspends its Kristianstad service is undoubtedly due to the fact that the airline half a year ago resumed operations between Malmoe-Sturup Airport and London-Stansted. The distance between the airports in Malmoe and Kristianstad is a mere 100 kilometres, so to a large extend the airline’s Malmoe service has taken away passengers from the one to Kristianstad.
On two press conferences in February in Sweden, the airline announced that it had decided to open up services from London-Stansted to Esbjerg (Denmark), Västerås (Sweden), and a former air-force base near Gothenburg called Säve.
Ryanair’s operations between London and Scandinavian airports now outnumber SAS’s daily operations between Scandinavia and London.
Vagn Sørensen, SAS Senior Vice President, says that Ryanair’s massive stake on Scandinavia of course has coursed some annoyance in SAS, and that the carrier presently is considering possible reactions. However, he will not reveal what SAS intends to do.
Maersk Air has been hit on its London traffic both from Billund and Copenhagen.
Ryanair’s Aarhus-Tirstrup service can be felt in Billund, and soon the Irish low-price carrier will start operating to Esbjerg, less than a hundred kilometres from Billund.
As a countermove towards Ryanair, Maersk Air has presented a new low-price concept. The concept will also be introduced on the flights from Copenhagen, where the British Airways-owned low-price carrier GO has conquered a substantial part of the London bound passengers.
Half a year ago, Malmö Aviation (owned by Norwegian Braathens) gave up its traffic between Malmoe-Sturup and London solely as a consequence of the competition from Ryanair. (NORDIC TRAVEL REPORT)