Budget airline Ryanair has announced that it will invest USD1bn in its operations in Italy after the Italian Government agreed not to impose a previously agreed increase to airport taxes.
Ryanair said it "warmly welcomed" the Government's decision to u-turn on a EUR2.50 municipal tax increase from September 1, 2016.
The airline said the decision will enable Italy's regional airports to compete on a level playing field with airports in Rome and Milan. It said its USD1bn investment will be through the allocation of 10 new aircraft, the creation of 44 new routes, and a 10 percent expansion in Italian aircraft traffic next year.
In Rome, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said: "We are extremely grateful to Prime Minister Renzi and Transport Minister Delrio for taking these initiatives to grow Italian tourism. 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."
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