Monday 18 December 2017

Ryanair increases routes across Europe as air fare war looms

Michael O'Leary predicted an air fare battle in Europe this winter
Michael O'Leary predicted an air fare battle in Europe this winter
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair will increase services from Dublin next summer as competition between airlines at the capital heats up.

The carrier will expand the number of flights it operates to destinations including Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Manchester and Malaga.

It is also launching a much-anticipated service between Dublin and Amsterdam's main Schiphol airport from next month, intensifying its presence at so-called primary airports around Europe as it targets increased growth.

That route is currently served only by Aer Lingus, which is now owned by IAG. Ryanair will fly four times a day between the cities.

Ryanair recorded a bumper summer season this year, with record passenger figures in July and August when it carried more than 10 million flyers in each month.

The airline's chief commercial officer, David O'Brien, said that the expansion at Dublin is more about increasing frequencies of flights rather than adding more destinations. Ryanair will operate 742 flights a week from Dublin next summer, 15pc more than this summer.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary predicted last week that there will be the "mother and father" of air fare wars in Europe this winter as a result of lower fuel prices and intense competition.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe, who was at the Ryanair event yesterday, praised the airline, saying that he had flown with it to Sicily on his summer holidays this year.

"Europe's leading and largest airline company is an Irish company. It's an Irish company which is delivering an extraordinary performance in terms of growth," he said, adding that Ryanair's growth at Dublin will help the economic recovery.

Ryanair is rolling out changes in coming months. This week, it revealed new uniforms and will also introduce a revamped menu and aircraft interiors.

Irish Independent

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