Ryanair tight-lipped on whether it will appeal Tallinn Airport fee hike

A Ryanair 737.
A Ryanair 737. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair has neither confirmed nor denied whether it will contest a recent decision by Estonia's Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet) which upholds a fee increase put in place by Tallinn Airport and to come into effect this month.

ERR asked Ryanair whether it will challenge the Competition Authority's decision or not, or even whether it will leave the Estonian market, but did not obtain an unequivocal answer.

Sarah Doyle, Ryanair's media department chief, said Tuesday that the airline was: "Disappointed in the Estonian Competition Authority's decision to allow Tallinn Airport to increase its airport charges by an excessive 33 percent.

The fee hike will not only affect Ryanair but will also damage Estonia's recovery to pre-Covid passenger levels, tourism, jobs and connectivity "irreparably", Doyle claimed, issuing an appeal to Tallinn Airport to reduce its fees, either from their current level or from the new, higher level.

Tallinn Airport says it does not yet have a full picture as to how Ryanair might respond to the Competition Authority's decision, though customers and potential customers have already expressed concern that, since the airline's autumn flight schedule has not been published on its website, this might mean its departure from the Estonian market.

Margot Holts, the airport's marketing and communications manager, called such an assumption "premature", however.

"As for the fall flights, at the end of October, all airports will switch to their autumn flight schedule, which some airlines put in place later than others. You would have to ask Ryanair representatives why Ryanair tickets are not yet on sale for that time," she went on, adding that the same applies to flights to and from Riga Airport, at the time of writing.

Holts said that in any case the airport was gladdened by closure on the fees issue, from a legal perspective and in the light of regulation and the Competition Authority's stance.

"The airport has behaved correctly from the point of view of regulation, in changing the fees. As a result, we will introduce new fees from May 10, which will apply to all airlines," she added.

The same airport fees apply equally to international and domestic flights, while parking fees will not change, the airport says.

The new passenger fee will stand at €10.50 per person, a rise of €3, while the landing fee will be €7.50 per maximum take-off weight limit.

The fee for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility will now be €0.30 per departing passenger.

As reported by ERR News, the Competition Authority found that the fee increases, announced last summer, were justified.

The new fees enter into effect on May 10, while Ryanair has 30 days in which to appeal the decision.

The airline's spokesperson, Sarah Doyle, told ERR the company had no further comment on the matter at this juncture.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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