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Stockholm Skavsta and Ryanair hold crisis talks

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 16 Feb 2010, 08:14

Published: 16 Feb 2010 08:14 GMT+01:00

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Representatives from the airport's owner TBI Abertis and Ryanair held a summit meeting on Monday to bring an end to their very public falling out.

"From yesterday evening (Monday) we have returned to normal routines. We will continue to negotiate for a couple of weeks, and I think that we will resolve this," Skavsta Airport chief Dot Gade Kulovuori told the newspaper.

Skavsta Airport, 100 kilometres south of Stockholm, has recently accused the low-cost flyer of not having paid its bills, explaining why the airline has been unable to land late arrivals.

Extra service for the controversial Irish airline had been withdrawn as a result of the alleged absent funds and thus late flights have not been permitted to land.

At the end of last week, two Ryanair flights were delayed and were thus diverted to Stockholm Arlanda Airport as Skavsta Airport had closed its runway claiming that it was holding to the letter of its agreement with the airline and no more.

The Local reported last week that Ryanair had claimed that the closure of the airport's runway was an illegal move.

Passengers on the Ryanair flight from Malta were diverted the almost 150 kilometres north to Stockholm Arlanda, where they were transferred by coach back to Skavsta.

"It was illegal because we were not outside of the required time limits," Stephen McNamara told The Local at the time.

Story continues below…

But Skavsta chief Dot Gade Kulovuori rejected the accusation contending that the airport was holding its end of the bargain.

"We have previously been more flexible with delays, but now we follow our agreement," Gade Kulovuori said at the time.

Skavsta Airport has suffered interruptions to service during recent months as a result of heavy snow falls with several Ryanair flights diverted, cancelled or delayed as a result of airport closures.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:31 February 16, 2010 by Beavis
Skavsta would do well to keep Ryan happy, if they get messed around they will simply up and leave and move to another airport
09:33 February 16, 2010 by Rick Methven
Ryanair would be welcome to move to Linköping
09:53 February 16, 2010 by Åskar
How I wish that people (and the airport itself) would stop calling it Stockholm Skavsta instead of Nyköping Skavsta.
10:17 February 16, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
It breaks my heart to say this but Skavsta Airport must walk lightly. There has been massive infra-structure spending into the Terminal (SEK 100m) and nearby commercial property based on Ryanair using it as a hub. Perhaps the backers didn't realize that Ryanair come and go on a whim.
10:34 February 16, 2010 by Puffin
Isn't an airport in Uppsala due soon? An airport near a huge University town around 35 minutes from Stockholm might be a good bet.... perhaps Ryanair are looking to create a proble with Skavsta
11:12 February 16, 2010 by ADJB
I was on one of the flights out of Skavsta last week, that got diverted up to Arlanda.

Nothing was said about not being able to land ! They blamed the diversion on the slight bit of fog that was hanging around !

When everyone arrived at Arlanda to board a flight, nobody knew anything. We were sent from gate to gate, terminal to terminal, until eventually, after something lilke 3 hours we miraculously turned up at the right gate and boarded a bus to take us to the plane. Then we sat on the bus for half an hour because we weren't allowed to walk the 10m from bus to plane until they'd spread some grit on the ground !

Wonderful day that was.
12:01 February 16, 2010 by Nemesis
This is more of Ryanairs games.

The airport authoritites need to realise that they are dealing wit someone who does business by numbers, therefore will leave once a better airport with lower rates comes along.
12:08 February 16, 2010 by Glempa
Michael O'Leary (CEO of Ryanair) is a shark and hard-nose businessman. He has a history of extracting money from local councils (kommuns) for funding to subsidise his fares. As these subsidies are illegal, Nyköping 's Kommun pays Ryanair to 'advertise Nyköping', a contract of which Rynair were the only applicant.

He has shut down the check-in desks and expects the airport to check the lugage instead, and their customer service is non-existent. I believe every word of Skvasta management because I know O'Leary's reputation. Unfortunately, he has Nyköpings Kommun and Skvasta by the balls and will not hesitate to shutdown his operations there. He will then go another Kommun who will subsidise his airline.
12:35 February 16, 2010 by Swenglishman
Ryanair also fly to London from Västerås. They should move more flights there instead. Västerås has an excellent rail link to Stockholm and Örebro, Uppsalla and Göteborg.
13:05 February 16, 2010 by Gar_182
Personally if my plane was diverted to Arlanda it would be great because I could avoid the lengthily bus journey to central Stockholm. Not so good for those travelling near to Skvasta though.
13:11 February 16, 2010 by Osk
Uppsala airport is due to open later this year.
13:31 February 16, 2010 by kaze

I'd hate to be landed at arlanda only to be forced onto a coach right back to skavsta
14:10 February 16, 2010 by Beavis
Ryan already moved the flights (bar the london one) from Vasteras to Skavska as it was cheaper.. so they wont be going back. That funding from local kommunes is nonsense... The kommunes are funding the airport not the airlines! The airports dont provide the bag service for free to the airlines if they close check in desks! Dont be daft! Ryan and Wizz are providing a huge amount of jobs and putting a lot of money into the local economy through backup services in Nyköping, hotels, busses, taxis, etc.

The airports owners should know though, dont play hardball with Ryan he will leave. Take the example of Malmö-
14:18 February 16, 2010 by LailaC1
I have travelled from Liverpool to Skavsta in the past, simply becuase SAS are so expensive. I have to admit I absolutely hate Ryanair and only use it becuase it is more affordable. Hopefully other ompanies offering cheap flights will see how in demand flights to Stockholm are and might offer their services too, so Skavsta isn't subject to Ryanair's usual bullying tactics.
15:05 February 16, 2010 by Rick Methven

You have some good and correct points re baggage checkin.

Skavsta was given to Nykopings Kommun when the Airforce gave it up as a Military base, but the Kommun was unable to find the funding to provide the infrastructure for the airport to grow so it was sold to the TBI group and the Kommun only have a 9.9% stake

"Nyköpings Kommun har kvar en 9,9 % ägarandel - även efter det att TBI förvärvades av spanska ACDL koncernen i januari 2005"

TBI äger och driver åtta flygplater; bl a Cardiff Int., Belfast Int., Orlando Sanford Int. (USA), London Luton Airport och Stockholm Skavsta Flygplats. I början av 2005 förvärvades TBI av spanska ACDL koncernen (90 % av aktierna ägs av abertis och 10 % av Aena Internacional).

The ACDL group are just another airport owner like the BAA in the UK who want to screw as much as they can from the operators and passengers at the airports and give as little as possible back.

There have been many occasions in the past few years when Ryanairs operation has been delayed because of lack of equipment to run the airport especially Snow clearing/de-icing. TBI is equiping for mild winters and although it is very happy for Ryanair to operate more flights and so get more money in Landing and parking fees and checkin they are not providing the infrastructure that was agreed when Ryanair upped frequencies.

As I understand the situation to be, The Airport wants Ryanair to pay for services that have not been provided in full.

Without Ryanair, Skavsta would become a big white eliphant. Many other startup operators have tried to make a go of it and failed.

TBI/ACDL should realise that they can not operate Swedens 3rd largest airport with the infrastructure of a flying club. Ryanair maybe a low cost carrier but they are still a sophisticated major airline with 218 737-800 aircraft with an average of 3 years. The yougest fleet in Europe if not the world.

Love or hate them Ryanair provides the lowest fares wherever they fly.
15:49 February 16, 2010 by jack sprat
A similar dispute took place between Ryanair and Valencia airport authorities, who had invested massive funds in a major development programme.

Ryanair used the airport as one of their main hubs and was easily its biggest operator.

After a long running dispute over increased charges, which Ryanair would not agree to, they eventually withdrew most of their schedules.

Whilst I cannot comment on the rights and wrongs of the affair,the result was a huge loss of income not only for the airport itself, but also for businesses in the surrounding area.
16:09 February 16, 2010 by bira
I wouldn't use Ryan air if they were the only airline around. It's not worth being cheap and receive such lousy service. Then you have to pay for online check-in and pay extra for just about anything you want to take with you. I get it, it's a discount carrier, basically a flying bus, but on a bus I can bring my infant without having to pay extra for it. Lousy service, lousy airline. Skavsta, don't let Ryan Air "bully" you into concessions. If they leave, good riddance.
16:43 February 16, 2010 by Rick Methven

The only difference between Ryanair and other airlines is that Ryanair split up and define what the charges are. All other airlines including the likes of SAS and BA make similar charges but they do do say what it includes they just say charges. SAS and BA load the price with an ever increasing fuel surcharge even when the cost of fuel goes down.

Basically you get what you pay for want the cheapest ticket go for Ryanair. Want to give more to the already fat wallets of SAS crews its your choice
16:55 February 16, 2010 by morchad
I don't know how many times I've said "never again" about using Ryanair but they have been always able to claw me back because of price.

I simply don't use them now because of their exit from Sturup.

Yes O'Leary is possibly as shrewd as they come, my friend worked in recruitment for them - if you get an interview with Ryanair.... you have to pay for it.

It's all about numbers to them and their numbers are pretty good
17:08 February 16, 2010 by GLO
This is NUTS !!!!
18:34 February 16, 2010 by BrittInSweden
@Åskar thats like wondering why Luton is classed as a London airport when it isn't even close to London.

Personally I have no sympathy for Ryan Air but then again I would never fly their services. I'd rather pay British Airways fees and get a good service instead.
19:37 February 16, 2010 by ingka
slightly off-topic but google on 'Ryanair and cancelled fligh't and find out where you're cheap ticket is funded with ... the complete lack of service when that happens!

I recentely flew Norwegian from Copenhagen to Amsterdam and the flight got cancelled. Expecting the worst (knowing the Ryanair stories), I was pleasantely suprised ... within 1 hour after I've left the plane, all passengers got a room in the nearby Hilton hotel incl. a free dinner ... we were all rebooked to the next morning for a special flight leaving for A'dam out of it's normal scheduele.

Yes it was a low-price-ticket (500 SEK), yes it was a bummer that the flight was cancelled, but sh.. happens and it was solved professional and nicely!
21:04 February 16, 2010 by HALE
RyanAir seem to be testing out Norrköping which is just south of Nyköping and north of Linköping
21:16 February 16, 2010 by Beavis
ingka... put into google EU law on delayed/cancelled flights.. and youll find Ryan do exectly the same thing as you got.. its not like they have a choice (they dont)

BrittInSweden what in this "good service" that your willing to pay 5-6 times more for a 2 hour flight for?? Just curious.

" if you get an interview with Ryanair.... you have to pay for it." I think your friend was er. perhaps lying to you??
01:19 February 17, 2010 by bira
Actually Rick, I pay for the SERVICE, which is non-existent with Ryan air.
01:36 February 17, 2010 by Callidus
Check Ryanair and Michael O'Leary on Wikipedia: interesting read.
10:30 February 17, 2010 by Beavis
bira "If they leave, good riddance." Your happy to tell that to all the people who will loose their jobs if they do, just because of your personal dislike of the company? What SERVICE are you talking about??? Is that servic eworth paying 10 times more for on some routes?? Im guessing you dont fly very often or have a lot of money to waste.
11:46 February 17, 2010 by Åskar
@BrittInSweden, The distance between Charing Cross and Luton airport is 44 km, which makes it closer than Stansted. Skavsta, on the other hand, is 88 km away from Stockholm central station.

@Beavis, the good service you get by flying British Airways instead is you can sit and wait in a nice lounge and have something to eat and drink for free while waiting. On board the plane you can choose between three dishes that are served on real china and the cutlery is not made of plastic. You are also allowed to bring two suitcases weighing 23 kg each. This is of course provided that you fly first class which I intend to do this summer.
13:29 February 17, 2010 by Beavis
Åskar ...dont think your comparing like for like there on the distance. Compare Victoria Station to Luton distance for like for like...But Skavstas not Stockholm or anywhere near it!

So your comparing BA first class to Ryan economy, also not like for like! Youll find BA economy more of a like for like (except on price)

So you would fall into the later category (have a lot of money to waste) if you are flying 1st class for European flights youll be paying 20 times more than any Ryan for an average meal a couple of drinks, a newspaper and 2 suitcases.

Most of us cant afford to waste 9000kr one way on a 2 hour flight and use the 400kr option instead. Given the choice (and the cash!) of course we would choose BA first class, or a lease in a private jet.. but most of us dont have that sort of cash to waste (and I do mean waste!)
15:54 February 17, 2010 by Rick Methven
@Asker So you want to pay 9,500SEK for a club class flight ( there is no first within Europe) with BA from Arlanda to London to get a meal served on china and a free cup of coffee in a lounge.

I think I would rather do this

Ryanair Skavsta to Gatwick 385SEK including bag prioity and all other credit card charges etc ( The BA fare includes unspecified charges of 485SEK which is more than the total Ryanair price.

Take first class train ride to Victoria (275SEK)

Taxi to Hilton Park Lane (250SEK

I executive room with breakfast (2800SEK)

I slap up meal in a top restuarant (1200SEK)

Total cost 4900SEK which leaves me enough money saved that I could do it all again.

Oh but you would have been pampered by BA for 2 hours and eaten a meal that by my reconing would be the most expensive meal ever. I could feed my family well for 2 months for the cost of your meal on BA.

But BA only continues to exist by working on the premise that there is one born every minute
00:49 February 18, 2010 by Jimk
Sorry but here, I'm fully with Ryanair!

Tired of this Swedish non action lazy attitude...

Gade Kulovuori: You are digging your own grave! idiot
04:03 February 19, 2010 by bira
Beavis, I actually fly a lot but not with Ryan Air. And yes, service is worth a lot to me, not that you get much of it anymore on any short flights regardless of who you fly with. As far as jobs go, I probably care more about them than Mr. O'Leary who uses those exact tactics to force airports and municipalities to conform to HIS ideas of "fair" pricing or he cuts flights, as he plans to do in Dublin this summer, or leaves the airport all together. He's cutting 150 jobs and 19% of flights to Dublin, why? Because he doesn't like their airport fees. I bet any money that it is also a "punishment" for Ms. Coughlan's refusal to give Hangar 6 at the Dublin airport to Ryan Air. Is that cheap price really worth supporting such a barracuda as O'Leary?
20:23 February 19, 2010 by JulieLou40
Ryanair are absolute scumbags-fact. Unfortunately, they are also currently the cheapest to Sweden from my home in Edinburgh. I remember once my kind boyfriend purchased me some Ryanair gift vouchers, but Ryanair fix the system so that when you book the flight, the vouchers come up with a lesser value. When I called Ryanair to complain, they didn't have a bloody clue how to fix it (they said), and when my phone bill came, the call turned out to have cost me 30 GBP as I was on the phone so bloody long! So we got screwed twice!

I am currently in Sweden visiting my boyfriend, and travel back with Ryanair from Skavsta next Thursday...and I intend never to buy a flight with them again, especially in light of the recent news that from May, Norwegian are starting new routes including Edinburgh to Stockholm Arlanda-yippee!!!! (I also heard they are doing a London to Arlanda flight too). Of course, they are more expensive than Ryanair, but not much, when you consider you won't have to pay 35 GBP per adult for the 2 flygbuss trips you will need to transfer to Arlanda for any internal flights. Or indeed even one flygbuss trip into Stockholm, if that's as far as you're going. I costed a trip in August today with both airlines, and the difference was negligible, by the time you add all the Ryanair stealth fees. I'm a happy camper :-D
07:51 February 20, 2010 by tommycapes
Oleary is a piece of work but you have to admire his balls.

Ryanair are nice as an option if nothing else is available. last xmas i flew a family of 4 to edinburgh for 1,300kr all in with ryanair. the other option was 10,000 kr for a 2 leg 4 hour flight with SAS.

Dont get me wrong i hate ryanair and what they stand for as regard to their utter contempt for the travelling public but they are providing a cheap option.
01:09 February 22, 2010 by Beavis
Bira... the tax he compains about in Dublin is stupid (100kr per passenger per flight) and of course its bringing prices up for customers also regardless of airline.

(And I have a huge issue that this money is given to the DAA to waste)

And actually Ryanair plans to take on 300 people when it take over the SR Technics hanger in Dublin airport. (so 300 more jobs)

Given the choice, Id rather fly with almost any other airline than Ryan if they flew at a reasonable price (which SAS dont offer) But you get what you pay for and people seem to expect so much from their 300kr flight. The same amont doesnt even get you from Stockholm to Malmö on the train and these are international flights!

And AGAIN, what service is this you speak of? Your old lady on SAS pours the tea nicer? Is that worth the 3000kr extra??
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