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<b>Tuesday 18 August:</b> Ryanair's Manchester dispute and anti-sleaze campaign aimed at Blears

Published on August 18th 2009.


ARMED ROBBERS HELD A GUN to a schoolboy’s head as they raided a pub in Fallowfield. The 14-year-old boy and a man in his 20s were assaulted in the Brewers Arms in Ladybarn Lane, early hours on Sunday morning. The raiders fled with a ‘large quantity of cash’ and both victims are being treated in hospital for their injuries.

RYANAIR HAS CLOSED FLIGHTS from Manchester over a disputed regarding airport charges. The budget airline has closed or switched all but one of its nine flights from Manchester to surrounding smaller airports, claiming the move will cause the loss of 600 jobs. Manchester Airport has said “the damage will be limited” and did not “believe that charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable". The changes, affecting 44 flights a week, will take effect from 1 October.

ANTI-SLEAZE ADVOCATE Martin Bell has been advising campaigners on how to unseat Hazel Blears. The former Tatton MP has teamed up with ex-Beirut hostage Terry Waite in a new `clean politics' campaign and although not directly standing against the Salford MP, Bell is giving advice to campaigners. Trade unionist Alec McFadden has already confirmed he will stand against the expenses-mired MP in next year’s general election.

A SLEEPING-CABBIE has been jailed for hitting a pedestrian. Kayyum Ali Patel-Mohammad, 40, veered across four lanes of a busy road in Sale, and into Richard Archer, 30, in July. Pleading guilty to dangerous driving at Manchester Crown Court, the Indian-born father-of-two was jailed for 10 months.

This ‘N’ That wisdom: No pity is wasted except self-pity

Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Wisdom rating: 7/10

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33 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

casAugust 18th 2009.

Fish and chips on your shoulders trolly dolly ;) calm down.

CasAugust 18th 2009.

Are there a lot of MP's then who not only fiddled expenses, dodged capital gains tax, sort to gain pr by wearing a brooch saying 'rocking the boat', kicked a long serving MP out of their seat etc etc. And look like a gerbil?

CasAugust 18th 2009.

I see your point M30, it was just the more communist that Mark got the more condescending and arrogant I became. But there are better options for city breaks! Take Frankfurt, you can get some great off peak fares with Lufthansa. Swiss Air has fantastic rates for weekend breaks (even business class). Don't give your money to that O'Leary! I honestly think that if you can afford a city break, you can afford not to do it with these clowns. My mother has a property in spain (I'm sorry if that sounds arrogant, it's near Benidorm for God's sake!) and she travels with Monarch, another no frills airline and she would never ever consider Ryanair. My point isn't against all no frills, just them.

casAugust 18th 2009.

You work for them don't you! I just prefer to pay more and get a better experience. My last 4 flights have been business class and as I can afford it and like it, I do it.

AnonymousAugust 18th 2009.

Who flies from Manchester Airport anymore? Any European destination is a better bet from Liverpool these days. As much as you may hate Ryanair or easyJet, there's little reason to pay more on short-haul. Manchester's traffic figures reflect this... the future looks bleak!

AnonymousAugust 18th 2009.

Yes Mark, I'm not thick I realise it doesn't just relate to the tolly dollies. However 600 staff is a gross over estimation. Your passenger numbers are way out too, if every plane was full then they wouldn't be scrapping the flights. Funnily enough that's why they're keeping the Dublin ones. These flights are losing money and it isn't down to the £3 per passenger the airport charges. You'll have noticed Ryanair has been pulling flights left, right and centre, blaming airports, here Stansted and all over Europe. They make a song and dance about it being the airport every time and every time over inflate the the jobs it will cost to attempt to throw bad pr at the airport. The airport is entirely correct from a business point of view. Ryanair asked for something they knew the airport couldn't do and then used it as a reason to cut flights and jobs because THEY are losing money. If Manchester airport charge less than £3 a passenger to Ryanair then every airline would want that, do you not think the other airlines have disclosure terms in their contracts so would have known. Truth is the little man has spun it, and you Mark have fallen for it. You see Mark you complain of the shed of an airport at Liverpool and yet why do think that is? Ryanair have these smaller airports by the balls and can name their price. The flights lost were Barcelona (Girona), Bremen in Germany, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari in Sardinia, Dusseldorf (Weeze), Frankfurt (Hahn), Marseille, Milan (Bergamo), nearly all served much better by others and by the time you add everything - for not much more.

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

@ Anonymous - I would imagine the 600 staff does not JUST relate to flight crew. It relates to the knock on effect on baggage handlers, airport staff, even bar staff in manchester airport bars/ duty free etc. 44 less flights means 600,000 less passengers passing through Manchester Airport per annum. This has to hit somewhere.@CKV, fair play to Ryanair for standing up to Manchester Airport. Remember, Ryanair is the customer in this scenario between them and the Airport, and in this day and age, ANY business should bend over backward to retain ANY customer. Even if that customer is Ryanair. Not only are Manchester Airport being stubborn and resulting in the estimated loss of the 600 local and ancilliary jobs, but Ryanair were offering to INCREASE their current 44 flights per week, to 72 flights per week if Manchester Airport reduced their charges. This would have created an estimated 400 extra jobs. So as far as Im concerned, its corporate stubborness by BULLY BOYS MANCHESTER AIRPORT, not Ryanair. I bloody hate that shed of an Airport in Liverpool and would always much rather support my local Manchester International Airport. I guess I won't have that choice anymore.

AnonymousAugust 18th 2009.

Can someone explain to me how a maximum of 44 flights a week makes 600 jobs? Even if they have a workforce who only do one flight a week, this would mean 14 staff a flight.Only a matter of time before a real accident happens because of this shoddy airline. And with the rubbish that little leprechaun O'Leary comes out with, how can we trust him not to lie over safety issues?Take the profitable Dublin flights they want to keep off them and let BMI or Aer Lingus take over.

ChickAugust 18th 2009.

I could pap on about how shit Ryanair is from now until Christmas - Michael O'Leary is a bag of shoite, so is his airline. I did a u-turn last year and flew with them from Liverpool, having vowed never to do so again after a previous experience. You pay for what you get and with Ryanair you get nowt

casAugust 18th 2009.

You've just gone through all my posts?! Is wikipedia offline?

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

CAS, "If I could only afford to fly them [Ryanair], as I said I'd worry about my career”, thats a bit much! Your telling me, that you would pay MORE to fly another airline, same day, same route, same time of day, rather than choose Ryanair? Quick example, October 28th Man-Dub return. Ryanair £16; Aer Lingus £39.98 If you'd choose Aer Lingus, don't worry about my career, worry about your wallet! And the American examples of budget Airlines before Ryanair, I assume you mean Southwest? Ryanair are based on them! Michael O'Leary worked under their CEO, cloned their (proven) methods, and brought them here to Europe, and as I said, changed European Air travel to what it is today. Listen, Im not saying that Ryanair going around shouting the odds off at Airports is morally right, but there is no sentiment in business. As I keep saying, the outcome is that we, the consumers are the ones to benefit. If O'Leary threatening airports gets me cheaper fares, and saves (approximately and including ancilliaries) 600 jobs then I say do it. The "less time on coaches from strange airports to city centres that can be 2 hours away" you speak of, thats us now, Liverpool being the strange airport, and us all travelling from Manchester!

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

£300 return to Dublin, I can remember paying it when I was based in Dublin! In fact, leave it late enough nowadays, and you'll still pay it! But please, humour me CAS, who was the first European Budget Airline to show us how its done? And where are they now?

M30August 18th 2009.

When will the calls for Hazel Blears' head stop? Has she been involved in the Baby P case? Is she responsible for genocide in Zimbabwe? She's done nothing that other MP's haven't done. I will vote with pride for Hazel Blears who has done a darn sight more for Salford and Salfordians than the celebrity prospective MP's such as Martin Bell, Esther Rantzen, et al. Also, having had first hand dealings with Alec McFadden, I wouldn't be happy with him representing me in a pub quiz, let alone parliament. People of Salford wake up.

M5August 18th 2009.

Blears is a political animal, but not exactly an apex predator. She's all for the soundbite and popular support, even if it's at odds with the party line. Just look at her disgraceful behaviour concerning the hospital closures. As the Gruanaid asks; "what exactly do you stand for Hazel, except election?". The expenses scandal has helped expose this self-serving, self-satisfied politician. Good riddance I say.

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

Cas, the difference between me and you, must be that I dont expect people to offer me food and drink, perfume and other rubbish products when travelling, be it on a bus, train or plane! But I wouldn't call it sub human or bad customer service either. I just call it public transport. And yes, your absolutely right, they do charge their staff for training and uniform and only reimburse it if they sucessfully pass their 6 month probabtion. So that we, the customers don't pay for training fickle staff or useless ones. Anyway, I guess we will have to agree to differ. You may have standards, but every airline in the world had adopted some form or budget airline style somewhere in its model. I'll still have a smile on my face when I depart from gate 13 of Manchester Airport for £16 while you depart on Aer Lingus at gate 11 for £39.98, both of us heading for Dublin eh?. Just can't decide what to use the £23.98 fare difference on... Maybe a checked in bag!

CasAugust 18th 2009.

Anon is right. Mark and his incredibly long posts are wrong. 600 is rubbish and I suspect Mark knows it, the flights were half empty, no planes were based at Manchester etc. Ryanair's passenger numbers from Manchester dropped on those flights, nothing to do with airport charges. As anon says THIS IS WHY THEY ARE KEEPING THE DUBLIN FLIGHT. They knew MAG wouldn't go down in price so made this story up. Can't believe people fall for for it? And Mark, £300 return to Dublin, that's bull, twas never that. If I could only afford to fly Ryanair, I'd spend more time sorting my career out and less time on coaches from strange airports to city centres that can be 2 hours away. And Mark, trust me, we don't have a lot to thank them for, they were not even the first.

JinkiesAugust 18th 2009.

I almost feel sorry for Hazel Blears. All the hating keeps coming up, but then I remember she's a snide awful woman who thought nothing of abusing the expenses system to her own personal gain, but STILL thinks she did nothing wrong. What a rotten woman. Well done people of Salford, I liked the new item last week.

CasAugust 18th 2009.

Mark, the Dublin route is succesful due to high demand. The other routes are not succesful as people don't want to be treated like shit, flying to random ariports on city breaks, so I'm not contradicting myself. You say 'As for you get what you pay for and being treated like a sub-human, exactly! Thats the concept of low fares!!', well if saving yourself a few pennies means you don't mind being treated sub human then that's up to you. I obviously have my standards, and am prepared to pay for them, and other people have theirs. PS if that about their cabin crew is correct, which is very doubtful, they need a new recruitment agency!!!! Don't they charge their staff for training and uniform hire anyway!

AnonymousAugust 18th 2009.

Ryanair didn't just ask Manchester to lower their fees, they asked them to let them land for free. You can understand why Manchester said no!

M30August 18th 2009.

I can't help wading in here, but I am dumsbtruck by the arrogance of Cas' posts re Ryanair. If I could only afford to fly Ryanair....." - yes, we realise how wealthy you are... you mention it in nearly all of your posts, and "If I could only afford to fly Ryanair, I'd spend more time sorting my career out" - What about older people in the area who want to visit relatives in Ireland and vice versa. Any pensioner without Sir Fred Goodwin's pension would struggle to fly club class for their grand-daughter's wedding. How about those out there in the real world who want to have a cheap city break? We all can't have high-flying businesses and six figure salaries. I'm no fan of the culture of Ryanair, or some of their questionable business tactics, I make around four journeys with Ryanair from Manchester and Liverpool a year and have been to Frankfurt, Dublin so far this year for cheaper than a train ticket to Leeds. Either way, their negotiations with airports are notoriously ruthless, playing airports off against each other to make sure they obtain the lowest possible rates... Kudos to Manchester Airport for standing up to Ryanair. Now all we need is for Barton Aerodrome to be upgraded to Manchester City Airport as a hub for low cost flights

BigglesAugust 18th 2009.

The airline industry has massive over capacity. It made sense to keep adding routes when people would take a cheap flight somewhere new out of curiosity, but when times are hard you want to spend your holiday money going somewhere you know you will enjoy, and so 2 hours on a coach etc does not equate to value for money. Hence passenger loadings drop, profits are squeezed, and the airlines expect the airports to pick up the tab. Even if you get the cheapest fair going being treated like a subhuman on a Ryanair flight does not seem like good value.

east lancsAugust 18th 2009.

Yeah right Mark, whatever, you have noooo interest whatsoever.

ckvAugust 18th 2009.

fair play to manchester airport for standing up to bully boys ryanair but you can't help wondering if this is a mistake

M30August 18th 2009.

Jinkies: I'm not actually Hazel Blears you cheeky so and so, I'm around 20 years younger, and my collars match my cuffs. Although I am one of her satisfied constituents. I happen to think she has done a great deal of good for the city and the people of Salford. The Great British Public, however, demands its pound of flesh, so no doubt that after they've put Hazel Blears through the rack, we'll have everyone from Richard Madeley to the "We Don't Talk To The Police But We're Parents Against Guns" fraternity claiming that they can best represent the people of Salford. I believe Christopher Biggins is appearing in Pantomime at the Lowry this year, so his name will propably end up on the ballot paper too.

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

Anonymous, I never called you thick. You asked a question regards where the 600 staffing figure was plucked from. You suggested 14 staff per flight, I suggested a possible answer. Regarding your next point, I do notice how they pull out of airports left right and centre. But then I notice they move them to Airports who are willing to accommodate them (eg Leeds Bradford). Thats my point about looking after customers in this delicate climate. Something Manchester are obviously not interested in doing. I also notice, that when they threatened to pull out of Valencia Airport last year because they felt Valencia Airport were not keeping up their side of the contract regards promoting tourism in the area, Valencia Airport sorted themselves out. Ryanair stayed at Valencia. So I do not agree with your point that they asked Manchester Airport for something they knew they could not do. However, if they did the outcome is, we all as consumers would be the ones to benefit. Lower airport charges means lower fares for you and me. Whether the numbers are over-inflated or not, the truth of the matter is that jobs will still be lost. And I do believe 600 is probably fair. The ancilliaries that Ryanair generate are endless. Hertz, catering, hotels in the area, bar staff, tourism, baggage, security, bus and train staff to the airport, car parks in the area, air traffic control, ground staff, servisair who supply check in staff, fuel suppliers to ryanair. I'll not go on. And would it be all that bad if Ryanair did get cheaper rates and the other airlines kicked up? Again, we would be the beneficiaries. After all, think back to the days before Ryanair. £300 was an acceptable price for a flight from Manchester to Dublin and we all thought that was just how things were. Then Ryanair came along and shook the sh1t out of the whole industry. If everybody held your opinions, we'd still be back there and flying would only be out of reach financially to many. With regard to your claim that all of Ryanair routes are served better by other airlines (eg BMI or Aer Lingus as in your previous post) I challenge you to find one cheaper. I frequently utilise Ryanair's service from Manchester, and every time, the come up trumps on price. Ryanair, love them or hate them, we ALL have a lot to thank them for, They are tw@ts but they're tw@ts who are good at what they do and the fact that other airlines (including British Airways, Aer Lingus amounst others) copy many of their methods, prove that.

CasAugust 18th 2009.

And M30, your just upset because I said your beloved Hazel looks like a Gerbil ;)

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

I don't work for them no. I just admire the model because I think theres too much arse wiping in this world. And arse wiping costs money. I'm not cheap, but I don't like paying more for something than I think I should. Like I said earlier, they have changed Air Travel for the better (you might say only as far as the cost is concerned) and it's for this reason I get to travel abroad about six times a year now for a weeks holiday, and as many times on short city breaks on top of that. And Cas, we know you can afford more. You've been ranting on about it since your first bloody post; "If I could only afford to fly Ryanair....."; "I hate them and if I could only afford to fly them, as I said I'd worry about my career"; "I don't care if it costs me more money, I don't care if it's double, treble or more"; "I obviously have my standards, and am prepared to pay for them"; and the best one "I just prefer to pay more and get a better experience. My last 4 flights have been business class and as I can afford it and like it, I do it". So go on Cas, Ive set the stage for you, you want to tell everybody how incredibly rich and what a fantastic career you have... The lights are on you...

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

@ East Lancs, apart from living in Manchester, and loving cheap flights on Ryanair, I have no interest. Your absolutely right. In all honesty, I doubt many of the staff of Ryanair would share my opinions , I would imagine they all hate Michael O'Leary. I on the other hand, think he's a business genius. Morally, some of the stuff he gets up to is not right, but again, repeating myself from above, There is NO sentiment in business and he lives by this, and it seems to deliver business results. There aren't many companies growing in this recessionary climate, but Ryanair are.

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

Cas, you make no sense. Your contradicting yourself. If the reason they are stopping these routes is because they aren't getting enough passengers because "we don't all want to be treated like shit", but then you go on to say how successful their Dublin route is. So you imply they are pulling out due to low numbers caused by poor customer service? Maybe Irish people who like a trip to Manchester just like being treated like shit? Regarding your difficulty your don't need to explain, I get what your saying about them not getting enough passengers and thats why their pulling out, but who knows, if MCR had dropped the charges, they may well have kept the routes, added more and increased their capacity from MCR rather than Leeds and Liverpool. Thats what I was saying. This being a Manchester website, we should be in favor of creating and preserving Manchester jobs. Regards staff on Ryanair, its a well known fact, they are amongst the highest paid crew, owing to the level of multi-skilling they do (gate duties, cleaning, no stopovers etc) and as for Safety, its part of the low fare model to always have the youngest most fuel efficient aircraft to keep fares low. Now to me, newer aircraft means safer aircraft. Last time I was on Jet2 the aircraft interior was screaming how it must have been at least 10 years old. As for you get what you pay for and being treated like a sub-human, exactly! Thats the concept of low fares!! When will people drop the romantic idea of ridculously glamourous Air Crew, rubbish meals in plastic trays and free tea and coffee? You spend more time on a train or bus between here and London than you do on a flight from here to half of Europe, yet you never expect any contact with the bus or train staff other than 'Tickets Please mate'. Thats sub human! When's the last time the National Express driver offered you anything other than a grunt? You have to queue for a bus or train, you have to fight for a specific seat on a bus or for a seat at all on a train, so again, why is a flight any different? The sooner people treat Ryanair (and all other low cost air travel) with the same expectations as the National Express and get over the old ideals of what air travel was, the better!

JinkiesAugust 18th 2009.

The more I read of M30 the more I think they are, in fact, Hazel Blears.

CasAugust 18th 2009.

Oooh you and your pseudo arrogance! You are fully aware £300 was top whack, just as it is now. Air Berlin? There are lots of American examples Mark does it really matter if it's European or American. I hate them and if I could only afford to fly them, as I said I'd worry about my career.

MarkAugust 18th 2009.

Well Cas, looking at the number of posts you do, what would happen in your life if this site went offline? Match.com have a 6 month guarantee apparently... Good Night Cas, and wish your 15 cats the same!

CasAugust 18th 2009.

It's not a bit much Mark, it's true. Having given them a couple of chances years ago, I wouldn't even dream of it. I don't care if it costs me more money, I don't care if it's double, treble or more. Mark, I'm finding it difficult to explain this to but Biggles gets it right, these flight cuts - it aint about the airport fee (if it's £3 now, what difference would that make?), it's about those routes not getting enough passengers because we don't all want to be treated like shit. Again that's why the Dublin route is still going. It's not like a telephone bill, where it's just the name on the bill that's different. It's all different, from check in (if you're still allowed to do that), to being herded into a line way before the flight is due to go, to seat scrums, to cup-a-soups inflight, to God awful staff, to landing in the middle of nowhere and having to use a remote stand as the airport charges Ryanair 2p a passenger less for that one etc etc And this cost cutting extends to the staff, God forbid anyone ever has a safety issue with a Ryanair flight. They pay peanuts, they get monkeys. They pay their pilots the least, they get the worst pilots. And is driving down costs further at airports such a good thing, considering safety issues? I think £3 a passenger is a bloody bargain. You can get anywhere in the world from Manchester, a lot without changing - there is no need to go to Liverpool. Unless that £9.99 flight to Florence (the airports in bloody Pisa, a different city) is that important. Again Biggles is right, flying to bizarre places for £0.60p was a novelty, now it aint. And cheap air travel in the US is nowhere near as bad as Ryanair, nowhere near.

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