Matteo Renzi's government has rolled back legislation that increased municipal departure tax at Italian airports from EUR6.50 (USD7.35) to EUR9 (USD9.90) from January 1 of this year.

Italian media reports indicate the volte-face occurred during an evening session of the Italian parliament on Monday, July 18. As such, the suspension of the charges will be effective from September 1 through to December 31. Revenue from the charges was to have gone to a special fund set up to support air transport sector personnel.

In April, Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) CEO Michael O'Leary indicated that in the event the tax was revised, the carrier would be willing to re-engage government over its downsizing plans.

The LCC had earlier warned that if the taxes persisted, effective October of this year, it would close bases in Alghero, Sardinia and Pescara while pulling out of Crotone completely. Sixteen routes were also to be cut resulting in the loss of 600 jobs this winter.