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Ryanair to cut winter flights from Stansted

Irish airline Ryanair said yesterday it would cut winter flights at London's Stansted airport from October, blaming high taxes and charges.

Stansted has been the biggest hub for Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, with more passenger traffic than in Dublin, the home to its corporate headquarters, where it has also imposed cuts this year.

Ryanair will reduce the number of aircraft based at Stansted in the winter to 24 from 40 this summer. Last year it operated 36 aircraft from Stansted in the summer and 28 in the winter.

Ryanair has long criticised British airport operator BAA, a unit of Ferrovial, as well as Irish operator DAA, for their high fees, and the two governments for levying what it calls "tourist taxes".

"Ryanair's 40 per cent capacity cutback at London Stansted shows just how much Gordon Brown's £10 (€11.25) tourist tax and the BAA monopoly's high airport charges are damaging London and UK tourism and the British economy generally," Ryanair said.

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