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Ryanair to slash Girona operations

Irish budget carrier Ryanair is to slash its operations at Girona, near Barcelona, because its five-year expansion plan at the airport has fallen through.

At the end of this month, the carrier will take five aircraft out of Girona, axe 18 routes and reduce frequencies on a further 17.

Ryanair announced in December that it would expand its Girona hub over five years, basing up to 10 aircraft at the airport at the start of the summer 2011 season.

However, the carrier now says that the new Catalonian Government "has refused to honour" the five-year agreement, which was established under the previous Government.

"Ryanair sincerely regrets that the new Government of Catalonia has failed to honour the recent five-year extension of our base agreement at Girona Airport despite the fact that it was consulted on its detail by the outgoing Government," says Ryanair.

"Ryanair will now switch five aircraft from Girona with the loss of 18 routes, over 100 weekly flights, 1.7 million passengers per annum and 1,700 jobs to other airports elsewhere in Europe."

The carrier opened a base at Barcelona's main El Prat airport in September. It also serves nearby Reus.

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