Ryanair to close base in Reus, Spain

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Budget carrier Ryanair said Wednesday it will close an operations base in Spain's northeastern Reus because of contract disputes with the regional authorities.

Ryanair said that since November 2008 it had used the airport in Reus, south of Barcelona, as a base for three planes in summer and one in winter. It planned to close the base October 30.

The airline blamed the Catalan government and Tarragona authorities for its decision.

"Unfortunately, these institutions have repeatedly failed to comply with commitments to support and help the development of the Ryanair base in Reus," airline vice president Michael Cawley said in a statement.

Ryanair would continue to fly to Reus using planes from other bases after the closure, the carrier said.

"At Ryanair we are overwhelmed by requests from many other European airports for us to base our planes there, with lower costs and more reliable partners than we have in Tarragona," Cawley said.

Ryanair regretted the loss of jobs but was prepared to consider re-opening the base if it obtained "reliable guarantees" that the authorities would abide by contract agreements, he added.

An airline spokesman declined to say how many jobs were affected.

© 2011 AFP

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