Price war at Leeds Bradford

Budget carrier, Ryanair, has announced that it will be launching 14 new routes out of Leeds Bradford airport, following news that the airport is to have a £28 million makeover.

Plans were unveiled on 11 Aug for new routes to the French cities of Carcassonne, Montpellier, Limoges and Nantes, the Spanish cities of Malaga, Murcia and Palma, the Italian cities of Pisa and Venice plus Knock in Ireland, the island of Malta, Krakow in Poland, Faro in Portugal, and the Balearic island of Ibiza. This was greeted as good news, not only for holidaymakers in the north of England but also for job seekers in West Yorkshire who were promised the creation of around a thousand new jobs.

Not everyone is happy though, with the Irish airline being accused of muscling in on routes already being operated by Leeds based airline Jet2 and it seems a price war is bound to follow.

Michael O’Leary, head of Ryanair, said that he had chosen Leeds Bradford airport for his latest base because it does not currently have any low cost carriers operating out of it. He went on to say that there are a couple of carriers “masquerading as low cost…..but it is a fact to say that they charge high fares”. The carriers which he was thought to be referring to are Jet2 and flybe.

Philip Meeson of Jet2 responded by pointing out that Ryanair have so many hidden extras in their fares that it works out as an extremely expensive option, especially for families who need to check in luggage.

Tickets are already on sale for Ryanair’s new routes and the new base at Leeds Bradford will open in Mar 2010.

With this new competition on many routes it will be interesting to see just how low fares go.

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