Prestwick Airport depends on Ryanair for its income, according to Ayrshire MP, Brian Donohoe. The airline offers more than ten direct flights from the Glasgow site, many of which travel to continental Europe.
Ryanair is no stranger to the headlines. Stuff the firm into your favourite search engine, and a catalogue of hidden charges, flight cancellations, and executive rants will meet you on the screen.
Probe a little deeper and you’ll discover that Ryanair was instrumental in the job cuts that blighted this year’s warm summer.
After deserting Robin Hood Airport altogether, the airline struck a blow to handling firm, Servisair, by cutting its winter sun schedule into tiny pieces. Newcastle was similarly hit, but soon found solace in budget airline, Jet2.
Mr. Donohoe fears that Ryanair’s tempestuous relationship with the aviation industry could pose a threat to Prestwick Airport, after summer cutbacks reduced the number of seats available to Scottish travellers by thirty percent.
The MP has begun phoning other airlines in a desperate bid to draw more business to the Glasgow airport.
“Prestwick has practically all of its eggs in one basket. If Ryanair cuts just one service, this has knock-on effects; not just on the airport itself, but on many other businesses in the area.” Mr. Donohoe explained.
The timing of the announcement was unusual, however. Ryanair recently revealed an extension to its operations at Prestwick, including one new route to Carcassonne, France.
Despite adopting a "cautiously optimistic" stance on Prestwick’s future, Mr. Donohoe is clearly taking no chances with Michael O’Leary’s airline.