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Ryanair announces new base (No.72) in the Azores

One aircraft ($100m investment) at Ponta Delgada airport, three routes to London, Lisbon and Porto, 350,000 customers P.A.

Ryanair announced it will open its 4th Portuguese base (No.72 in total) in the Azores from April 2015 with 1 based aircraft and 3 new routes to London Stansted, Lisbon and Porto, which will deliver 350,000 customers p.a. and support 350 “on-site” jobs, as it invests $100m in the Azores following the removal by INAC of the PSO restrictions.

Ryanair’s base in the Azores will deliver:

  • 1 based Boeing 737-800 aircraft
  • 3 new routes to London Stansted (1 x weekly), Lisbon (2 x daily) and Porto (1 x daily)
  • 20 weekly flights with morning and evening schedules
  • 350,000 customers p.a.
  • 350 “on site” jobs p.a.

Ryanair is also in discussions with the Government of the Azores about possible services to Terceira and additional international flights to the Islands.

Customers can fly on Ryanair’s twice-daily service to Lisbon and daily service to Porto while enjoying allocated seating, a free 2nd carry-on bag, reduced fees, a new website, a brand new app with mobile boarding passes, and our new Family Extra and Business Plus services, making Ryanair the ideal choice for families, business and leisure travellers.

Secretary for Tourism and Transport, Vitor Manuel Angelo Fraga said: “On behalf of the Azorean Government, I want to welcome Ryanair to the Azores. I hope and expect that Ryanair will achieve great success with its operations here in the Azores, and we look forward to working together to promote the development of tourism on our islands.”

Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien said: “Ryanair is pleased to announce our new base in the Azores from April 2015, with 3 new low fare routes to London (1 x weekly), Lisbon (2 x daily) and Porto (1 x daily), which will deliver 350,000 customers annually and support 350 “on-site” jobs, as Ryanair invests $100m in the Azores.

Ryanair welcomes the Government’s decision to open the Azorean market to competition to the benefit of Island residents, tourists and consumers. Our 3 new Azores routes with daily frequencies and great timings are ideal for business passengers, Island residents and families booking their low fare summer holiday getaways, with fares starting from just €29.99 one-way for travel in April, May and June which are available for booking until Monday (8 Dec).”

Ryanair November traffic jumps 22% to 6.35m. customers
Ryanair released November traffic growth highlighting that the airline’s “Always Getting Better” customer programme delivered a stronger than expected performance in the first month of Ryanair’s significantly expanded winter schedule. Despite increasing November seat capacity by 13% (over Nov 13) and opening a large number of new city pair routes designed to appeal to business traffic, Ryanair’s November load factor rose by 7% points from 81% in 2013 to 88% in 2014.

Ryanair noted that it had materially exceeded its first month load factor targets across a significant number of city pair markets where it is offering business type frequencies in direct competition to longer established, higher fare airlines as the following examples illustrate:

  • From Dublin on 3 new routes to Brussels (3 daily), Glasgow (3) and Cologne (1) in competition with Aer Lingus, the first month load factor was 80%.
  • From Warsaw (Modlin) to Gdansk (2 daily) and Wroclaw (2) in competition with LOT, the first month load factor was 82%.
  • From London Stansted to Glasgow (3 daily), Edinburgh (3), Lisbon (3), Cologne (2) and Athens in competition with easyJet, the first month load factor was 88%.
  • From Lisbon to London (3 daily), Hamburg (1), Rome (1) and Milan (1) in competition with TAP and others, the first month load factor was 90%.

Ryanair attributes this stronger than expected initial winter performance to the continuing success of its “Always Getting Better” customer programme, our stronger forward booking strategy and the airline’s substantial fare and unit cost advantage over all other European airlines.

As a result of this better than expected performance in month one, of its substantially expanded winter schedule, Ryanair has now revised its full year traffic guidance up from 89m to just over 90m customers, and raised its full year profit after-tax forecast from its previous range of 750m to 770m euros, to a new range of 810m to 830m euros. Ryanair noted that the final full year profit will still be heavily reliant on close in bookings and yields in Q4 (Jan – Mar 15) over which it presently has very little visibility.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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