First Free Story (1 of 3)Join Skift Pro
Ryanair Holdings Plc is adding 10 new aircraft to its Italian network in a move that scales back growth in the U.K. after its vote to exit the European Union.
The move follows Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s decision Wednesday to scrap a planned increase in municipal taxes on airline tickets and a relaxation of restrictions on the use of regional airports, in line with EU rules. Ryanair initially planned to base the planes in the U.K.
The new Boeing Co. 737s will add 3 million travelers a year on 44 routes serving Rome, Milan and smaller Italian cities. The extra capacity will lift Ryanair’s annual Italian passenger tally to about 35 million next year, the carrier said.
Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary credited Italy’s government with taking steps to improve the country’s competitiveness.
“All of this growth would have been lost to other EU countries if the municipal tax increase had not been reversed and the airport guidelines had not been redrafted to comply with EU rules,” he said in a statement.
Ryanair has said it will move about 50 jets due for delivery this year to markets other than the U.K. to offset the impact of an expected travel slump after the Brexit vote and the drop in the value of the pound. The airline cut prices 10 percent in the latest quarter to try to fill seats, a task that was made more difficult by a string of terror attacks in Europe.
©2016 Bloomberg L.P.
This article was written by Benjamin Katz from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.