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Kos Residents Launch Petition as Ryanair Halts Flights to Kos & Rhodes

Low-cost carrier Ryanair has scheduled to cancel to Kos and to Rhodes due to a dispute with the local authorities apparently over a promotion agreement. Ryanair’s flight cancellation is due before the end of the tourism season which ends in November for these two islands of the Dodecanese. Ryanair decided to halt 82 flights per week to the two Dodecanese islands, claiming local authorities did not commit to a promotion agreement.

“A total of 82 flights a week will be cancelled a month before the end of the season. Flights to Kos will stop on 2 October on 11 routes to Kos and 13 to Rhodes.

The move comes after the low-cost carrier argued that the islands were “reneging” on a promotion agreement.

Greek media quoted the country’s tourism minister as saying: “The government has not signed any contract with any low-budget airline.”

The airline currently operates flights to Kos from Stansted, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool. Its flights to Rhodes operate from Stansted, East Midlands, Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Prior to the dispute, the flight schedule to the two Greek islands was expected to end in November.

Ryanair blamed the Dodecanese development association Detap and the mayor of Kos, saying they “failed to honour an agreed joint marketing campaign with Ryanair to promote Ryanair’s Rhodes and Kos routes this summer”

Ryanair estimates that the change in schedule will have a significant impact on the already ailing Greek economy. It forecasts a £14.5 million dent in the islands’ tourism revenue as a result of the cancellations.

“Ryanair intended to operate the routes to the end of the summer. However, Detap and the mayor of Kos reneged on an agreement to jointly promote our flights,” a Ryanair spokesperson said.

“Detap and the mayor should now explain to Rhodes and Kos residents why they have refused to partner with the only airline interested in bringing new passengers to the region.” ( May 18,2012)

As the time for the flights halt nears, the dispute was not solved and Ryanair sticks to its decision, residents of Kos decided to launch an online petition in order to pressure their mayor into making a decision about Ryanair flights to the island.
“According to Petition Action for Kos, the mayor has been stalling for several months on paying the agreed amount to the company, which has resulted in Kos losing its Ryan Air winter flights.
The island’s residents fear that if action isn’t taken immediately they might also lose their summer flights, which would be detrimental for the island’s tourism. “The cancellation of Ryanair flights would mean the end of any hope we have of working through the current difficulties”, the petition reads.” (Athens News)
PS To tell you the truth I had no idea, that local authorities may promote some airlines and not some others. Or do I miss something here?


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  1. Same thing happened in Kerkyra (Corfu)… We had RyanAir flights well into November last year, but a disagreement with the local airport means they will stop early this year. Just what we all need 🙁

  2. PS To tell you the truth I had no idea, that local authorities may promote some airlines and not some others. Or do I miss something here?

    That was exactly what I was thinking. Aren’t these things in Greece a decision of the central government? I know they are working on privatizing local airports. But that has not been finalized. Hasn’t it?
    But when I read that apparently this also plays on Kerkyra… then I am really thinking that we both miss something big here…

    • I asked somebody to explain what is the amount Ryanair claims about. Hopefully I get an answer.

      • It is not the Greek airports, it is not the Greek government, it is not some mayor somewhere, it is Ryanair. Nobody else.
        They did the same thin in Ireland with Shannon Airport and Belfast Airport and a good few other places in Sapin, Germany, Italy, you name it. They come in with lots of promises, get concessions, and build up almost a monopoly on an airport during the concessions period.When it runs out of concessions, it starts bullying on airport taxes, landing charges, baggage handling charges, ticket charges, anything. Meanwhile they have already pinpointed a replacement airport in case they don’t get their way, with everything ready bar a signature. Some guy wrote a book about them not so long ago, called Lying Air. Worth reading…
        In Greece, they probably saw their passenger numbers shrink drastically, and don;t want to stick to their side of the bargain, so they start slinging mud. Standard practice. They are at the moment in a tangle with the Belgian authorities over the way they operate as well. Cheap is definitely the word, except when it comes to their flights. Ever wonder how an advetised 10€ ticket actually ends up costing you 65€? Ryanair is the master of the scam!

        • I thought to check a bit more but I had no time. Thanks for the info.

        • Very interesting indeed. But it still doesn’t answer the question why there is apparently some decision the local mayor has to take and some money they have to pay Ryan Air? Or is this petition aimed at the mayor just one big misunderstanding on the part of the locals… and the Athens News?

  3. All Ryanair destinations pay a “fee”. This is to help compensate for half empty flights at the beginning and the end of the season. Each destination makes a contract ( prices vary) and Ryanair expects them to fulfill it. Ryanair started flights to Kos, but were not prepared to wait any longer for the contracts to be signed and the amount to be paid. They therefore terminated their flights early and the residents of Kos decided to start a petition as nothing was being done to rectify the situation. No misunderstanding and not aimed at anyone. Kos residents are just asking for the promised amount to be paid so flights can be resumed and they can have some hope for the future.

    • thank you for the information.
      Any idea why the major does not pay?

    • In the recent past, Ryan air has abandoned

      – Shannon Airport (Ireland)
      – Belfast Airport (Northern Ireland)
      – Copenhagen (Denmark)
      – Most of it’s Manchester Routes
      – Cuidad Real (Spain),
      – Marseille
      – Fez (Morocco)
      – And probably a lot more we are not aware of

      Ryan Air completely abandoned the Catalonian airport Reus and drastically reduced it’s usage of Girona, costing the Catalan region millions in tourism revenue. The Catalonian government has this year reached a new agreement with them, and the flights resumed in April 2012, bringing in a total of 3.5 million passengers. Meaning, that is the kind of revenue that the region lost when they pulled out. And going by the Irish experience, you can be certain they will not give in.

      RYANAIR’S Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley has reiterated the airline’s claim that it is ready to axe the vast majority of its Shannon services unless the airport management cut charges in half and the Government abolishes the €10 air travel tax.
      In an interview with The Clare Champion Mr Cawley said that if the airline does pull its services, thousands of jobs will be lost in the Mid-West. He also said that there is no room for negotiation, as Ryanair has numerous other options with airports that will offer better terms than Shannon.
      Mr Cawley said that if Ryanair doesn’t get its way, passenger numbers would be trimmed from approximately 1.9 million back to around 300,000.
      “Around 1,600 jobs would be lost around the airport. That’s not just my figure, the Airport Council International estimate that every thousand passengers create one job,” he commented.

      And the word became true…. These guys play dirty, very dirty!

  4. You cannot help but wonder is there something complete different behind this story all together, like “airline in trouble” and the mayor of Kos being transformed into a smoke screen?

    The Spanish authorities are not happy with Ryan Air, more specifically with ti’s safety record. They are that unhappy that they have demanded an immediate meeting with Mr. Kallas, European Commissioner for Transport. They have also asked the Irish Aviation Authorities to join in. What is going on?

    The airline has been accused of trying to save money by limiting the amount of fuel its planes carry, and then being forced to make emergency landings as they run short.

    Spanish authorities say they are investig-ating several forced landings, including two at the weekend.

    – On Sunday, a Ryanair plane made an emergency landing in Madrid on its way from Paris to Tenerife, blaming a “small technical problem”

    – A flight from the German city of Dusseldorf to Palma de Mallorca to make an unscheduled stop in Barcelona, where two crew members and a passenger were treated for minor injuries.

    – Last weekend, a flight from Bristol to Reus in the north of Spain made an emergency landing in Barcelona because of engine problems.

    – Earlier this month, a flight from Madrid to Gran Canaria returned to Madrid after oxygen masks automatically dropped shortly after take-off.

    – In July, the airline was reported as making three emergency landings in Valencia in the east of Spain because they were running short of fuel.

    One wonders….