Ryanair threatens to axe all Fuerteventura services

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Ryanair is threatening to close all its routes to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands from 31 January, after accusing the local tourism body of failing to uphold a commercial agreement to promote the location.

It withdrew one of its nine Fuerteventura routes on 6 November in protest at Agrupacion de Interes Economico (AIE) and says it will pull out altogether next year, unless what it terms "contractual commitments" are met.

The spat is an echo of the situation in Valencia where a dispute with the regional government led Ryanair to withdraw services in protest at the body awarding a grant to local carrier Air Nostrum.

"Ryanair has served 30 days' notice to the AIE to comply with its contractual agreements," says Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley. "If they refuse to do so, then we will have no choice sadly to end all Ryanair flights to Fuerteventura from 31 January."

AIE could not be reached to respond to Ryanair's accusations. But the airline confirms it is continuing legal action against AIE and its individual members for breach of agreement.

Ryanair says passenger numbers to Fuerteventura have increased from 2,000 to 250,000 since it began operating to the island in 2006 from several cities in Europe.