Ryanair cuts back on its Stansted winter flights

NO frills airline Ryanair yesterday announced a 40 per cent capacity cutback in its&nbsp;winter flights out of Stansted, blaming the government&rsquo;s Air Passenger Duty and the airport&rsquo;s passenger fees.<br /><br />The cut comes at a bad time for BAA, which has been forced to sell the airport along with Gatwick and one of its Scottish airports.<br /><br />Ryanair operated 40 aircraft from&ensp;Stansted this summer&ensp;but&ensp;will reduce&ensp;this to 24 aircraft this winter with a loss of 2.5m passengers.<br /><br />Ryanair said it was increasing capacity at other European bases where governments were reducing taxes and passenger fees.<br /><br />Observers said, however, that Ryanair&rsquo;s winter traffic out of Stansted would be broadly similar to last year despite the bluster from the airline&rsquo;s boss Michael O&rsquo;Leary.<br /><br />BAA is appealing the sale of its airports and is having trouble attracting bidders at an attractive price.