High charges blamed for EasyJet Madrid base closure

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EasyJet will close its Madrid base from next winter, the low-cost carrier says, and will shift the eight aircraft currently stationed there to other locations in Europe which "will deliver higher returns for the airline".

Returns from the Madrid operation are "below" those of all its other bases, it says, blaming over-capacity in the Spanish market and high airport charges levied by operator AENA.

Having already doubled in the last two years, these will rise above the rate of inflation over the coming years, EasyJet adds.

Capacity to Madrid will be cut by 20% in its next financial year, with capacity to the whole of Spain reduced by 7%.

Restructuring costs should be offset by the recent fall in the price of jet fuel, it adds. Its previous forecast for pre-tax profit for the year ending 30 September remains "unchanged".