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Ryanair cancels 166 flights because of French strike

Ryanair flights have been cancelled once again. Credit: PA

The Stansted-based airline Ryanair has cancelled 166 flights today to and from and over France because of another strike by French air traffic controllers.

It's the 52nd French strike since 2009 and Ryanair are calling on the European Commission to take action.

Ryanair says 30,000 customers have had their flights cancelled today and over 100,000 others will suffer severe delays.

It is time for action by the European Commission following this latest French ATC strike aimed at disrupting as many travel plans as possible.

The frequency of these strikes, right in the middle of the holiday season only serves to underline how urgent action is required to help reduce the impact of these strikes.

– Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair

Stansted-based Ryanair to cut fares by 7%

Michael O'Leary was delighted with the company's results. Credit: PA

Stansted-based airline Ryanair has revealed it plans to cut fares by 7% this year as annual profits soared.

The budget airline wants to reduce its prices in a bid to keep passengers flying despite concerns following terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The impact of the recent EgyptAir plane crash may further weaken the appetite for international travel over the coming months.

£959m
Ryanair's profits last year.

The cuts came as Ryanair posted profits after tax up 43% to £959 million in the year to March compared with a year ago.

The full-year to 2016 was a year in which we delivered significant traffic and profit growth in all four quarters.

– Michael O'Leary, Ryanair Chief Executive

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Referendum campaign lands at Stansted as 450 new jobs announced

Political rivals joins forces at Stansted airport in Essex to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU.

The Chancellor George Osborne has been in Essex claiming that leaving the EU would be a one way ticket to a poorer Britain.

He spoke alongside political opponents Labour's Ed Balls and Vince Cable from the Liberal Democrats as the Remain campaign staged an event at Stansted Airport.

They warned that Brexit could mean an end to cheap flights and threaten investment such as the new Ryanair training centre which will create 450 jobs.

The launch of the Vote Leave campaign in Peterborough. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Vote Leave campaign pointed out that the Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said only a few months ago that Brexit would not cause fares to rise.

The Stansted announcement comes after more than 300 business leaders urged Britain to vote to leave the European Union, warning that the country's competitiveness is being undermined by its membership.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, they argued that businesses will be "free to grow faster, expand into new markets and create more jobs" if they are unconstrained by EU rules.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

Catch-up: ITV News Anglia's special programme on Stansted airport

ITV News Anglia marked 25 years of Stansted's iconic terminal with a special programme live from the airport. Credit: ITV News Anglia

After the Queen declared the Norman Foster terminal building at Stansted open on 15th March 1991 just over a million people a year were using the Essex airport.

In the years which followed a lot has changed. Stansted is now a major hub for low cost airlines and annual passenger numbers have risen to more than 23 million. The terminal has been extended twice.

To mark the 25-year anniversary, ITV News Anglia produced a special programme live from the busy terminal presented by Jonathan Wills and Becky Jago

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Stansted airport has busiest ever February

Stansted airport in Essex has had its busiest February on record. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stansted airport in Essex has had its busiest February on record with 1.69 million passengers passing through the terminal.

The number of passengers at London's third airport has been growing month on month for nearly two years. The figure for February was up 15% on 2015.

Nearly 23 million passengers used Stansted in the past year, the highest annual total since 2008.

“This strong demand continues to be driven by record numbers of passengers on each flight arriving and departing from Stansted plus airlines increasing capacity on key routes including Berlin, Cologne, Prague and the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“Stansted is the UK’s fastest growing major airport at the heart of the UK’s innovation corridor and we remain focused on providing passengers with even more choice of airlines and destinations to better serve our region’s needs.”

– Andrew Harrison, Stansted Managing Director
Stansted has seen nearly 23 million passengers in the past 12 months making it the busiest year since 2008. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Last month British Airways announced it would start flying from the Essex airport to four popular holiday destinations and has just added a weekly flight to Berlin.

Student arrested at Stansted Airport over terrorism offences to face trial at Old Bailey

Cubeyda Jama was arrested at Stansted Airport on February 5. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A student arrested at Stansted Airport - allegedly on his way to join Islamic State in Syria - will face trial at the Old Bailey.

Cubeyda Jama, 19, from Thornton Heath, was on a flight bound for Bucharest in Romania when he was stopped by police on Friday.

The Middlesex University student, who is originally from Finland and is of Somali descent, is charged with the preparation of terrorist acts.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning and was remanded in custody. He will appear at the Old Bailey on February 19.

"He was arrested on the 5th February, he was taking a flight to Bucharest which the Crown says was the first step to eventually joining Daesh, formally known as Isis or Isil."

– David Cawthorne, prosecutor.
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