Aviation: Ryanair invests €1bn into Italy
Ryanair is to invest heavily into the Italian market next year, following changes to government policy. The airline said it would spend over $1bn (€887m) on 10 new aircraft for its services in the country.
Ryanair said the move comes after a reverse to the municipal tax increase and revised guidelines that will allow Italian regional airports to compete against the likes of Rome and Milan.
The Michael O'Leary-led firm will open up 44 new routes, 21 of which will be at airports in Rome and Milan. Mr O'Leary said he was "extremely grateful" for the changes made by the Italian government and Infrastructure Minister Graziano Delrio.
"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," he said.
As part of the investments another three million passengers will be delivered per year to Italian airports and another 2,250 new jobs will be created in 2017.
"Minister Delrio has challenged the airlines to respond with growth, if his Government acted to improve the competitiveness of Italy's airports, and Ryanair is pleased to be the first airline to announce this record $1bn investment in new aircraft, new routes, new traffic and job growth in Italy in 2017.
"We remain in negotiations with Alghero airport [in Sardinia] and are hopeful of concluding a similar agreement with them when they conclude their current privatisation project in early September," Mr O'Leary said.