Budget airline Ryanair has ditched its service from Aberdeen to Malaga in Spain, citing “commercial reasons”.
It’s the laterst bad news for Aberdeen International Airport, with several other routes already being scrapped this year.
Dublin-based Ryanair returned to AIA in February 2017 after a five-year absence, with planes taking off twice a week for both Malaga and Alicante.
It also started flights to the Portuguese hot spot of Faro, while a fourth new route, involving summer services to Malta, took off earlier this year.
When launching the Spanish flights, Ryanair and AIA bosses urged north-east passengers to “use them or lose them” – and show there was demand for more low-cost routes out of Aberdeen.
Ryanair argued that moves to reduce and potentially abolish air passenger duty could pave the way for more services from AIA and other Scottish airports.
But the carrier has now called time on one of its routes from the Granite City and the Aberdeen-Malaga flights will take off for the last time on October 25.
Ryanair said: “This route will not operate in winter 2018, however, we will continue to operate twice-weekly flights from Aberdeen to Alicante all year round.”
A spokesman for the airline said the Malaga decision was due to commercial reasons and added: “We will continue to monitor the performance of all routes across our network as we plan our 2019 schedules.”
The airport, which has just completed the second phase of a £20 million transformation project, has suffered a spate of route pull-outs this year.
Icelandair’s decision to axe flights between the Granite City and Kevlavik, Iceland’s international air hub, for “commercial reasons” came just weeks after German flag carrier Lufthansa scrapped its service from Aberdeen to Frankfurt.
Loganair also called time on its Aberdeen to Durham-Tees Valley Airport flights.
AIA no longer publishes monthly passenger figures, but it does submit them to the Civil Aviation Authority, whose records show 254,237 people used the north-east gateway in April.
This was 2% more than a year ago and reflects a sustained recovery in the airport’s fortunes after the recent economic downturn.
AIA managing director Carol Benzie said: “We are delighted to see passenger figures continuing to recover, with particularly good growth in our domestic routes.
“Looking ahead to the summer, the leisure routes are reporting strong load factors.”