Despite warnings of flights being severely affected under a no-deal Brexit, Ryanair has unveiled 15 new routes from Ireland to Europe for summer 2019. They include Dublin to Gothenburg and Thessaloniki, Cork to Malta and Shannon to Ibiza.
The Ireland based budget airline says the new flights bring the number of routes in Ireland to more than 150 and will serve more than 16.4 million customers each year.
More than 1,000 weekly flights
The new schedule features more than 1,000 weekly flights including:
Predicted tourism spend of over €2 billion
- Nine new routes from Dublin among flights to Bordeaux (2), Bournemouth (4), Cagliari (2), Frankfurt (2 daily), Gothenburg (2), Lourdes (2), Luxembourg (3), London Southend (2 daily) and Thessaloniki (2)
- Five new routes from Cork, with flights to Budapest (2), London Luton (daily), Malta (2), Naples (2) & Poznan (2)
- One new flight from Shannon, among two to Ibiza.
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs, says, “Ryanair continues to grow Irish traffic, routes, tourism and jobs, while the 16.4 million customers who will travel to and from Ireland will support and sustain over 12,500 ancillary jobs, alongside a tourism spend over €2 billion.”
Flights critical to tourism growth
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Ireland, adds, “As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”
He says 2018 looks set to be another record year for Irish tourism, with more than 7.2 million arrivals from overseas from January to August this year – up almost 8% when compared to the same eight-month period in 2017.
No-deal Brexit risk to flights ‘underestimated’
Ryanair has previously warned that the risk to flights of a no-deal Brexit has been underestimated and would make flights between the UK and EU around the time of the UK’s exit from the European Union impossible. “There is a risk that in April next year it will not be possible to fly between the UK and Ireland,” Mr Jacobs says.
The importance of Ireland and Irish tourism
However, the new Irish flight growth is significant, Mr Jacobs explains. “This passenger growth, if you take that 16.4 million in Ryanair in Ireland alone, that would be the world’s 23rd biggest airline, so if Ryanair Ireland was its own separate airline, it would be bigger than Swiss, Thai, it’s now the same size as Qantas. This gives you an idea about the importance of Ireland and the size of Ryanair’s Irish operation.”
Six new routes from Brussels
In addition to the Irish flight launch, Ryanair has announced six new summer 2019 routes from Brussels and one from Liverpool.
At Brussels Airport, Zaventem, there are four
new routes to Amman, Barcelona, Marrakesh and Pisa, as well as more flights to Alicante and Porto.
Meanwhile, Brussels South Charleroi Airport is launching
new routes to Banja Luka and Palermo, plus extra flights to Alicante, Malaga, Naples and Lisbon.
Brussels routes serving 8.6 million passengers
In total, the Brussels airports offer 100 Ryanair routes and the increased frequency of Brussels flights will help serve 8.6 million customers next year.
New Liverpool-Corfu Ryanair flight
The new service at Liverpool John Lennon Airport is to the Greek island of Corfu. The twice weekly service will start from June 2019. Holidaymakers from the North West are now able to book flights to Greece as far out as October 2019, with a full schedule to come. Ryanair currently flies around 35 routes from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
New Dublin to Moscow Aeroflot route
Meanwhile, new flights between Dublin and Moscow have been announced by Russian carrier, Aeroflot. The daily service from Moscow Sheremetyevo will begin on Sunday 28 October on Airbus A320s.
Route set to be popular in both directions
Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison, says, “About 42,000 passengers travelled between Dublin and Moscow last year on indirect flights, so I have no doubt this new direct route will very popular in both directions." Aeroflot previously operated a Dublin to Moscow service from 1987 to 2003.
Dublin Airport set for record year
So far this year, more than 21.2 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport, which is set to record its busiest ever year.
Sheremetyevo wants 80 million passengers
Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport welcomed just over 40 million passengers in 2017, an annual rise of 17.8% and aims to reach around 45 million in 2018. Its long-term goal is 80 million passengers a year.
World Cup flights boost
Passenger numbers are up 13% in the first half of the 2018 and have been boosted by World Cup flights. Sheremetyevo Airport served 33,800 flights (+16% year-on-year) and 4.7 million passengers (+11%) during the tournament in July 2018. In addition, the airport has been praised for its service quality.
New Calgary to Europe flights
Further afield, Canadian airline WestJet has announced new direct flights from Calgary to three top European destinations. Flights to London Gatwick, Dublin and Paris begin in Spring 2019 and will take place on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. London flights start from Sunday 28th
April, while flights to Paris begin on Friday 17th
May and flights to Dublin start on Saturday 1st
Calgary ‘under-served’ by European flights
WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Sims, says, Calgary currently is “under-served” in terms of flights to Europe. Western Canada, traditionally, is under-served on transatlantic (flights), and by contrast, a lot of the Eastern Canadian airports have got quite dense traffic flows already.
“We think there’s a great opportunity to both introduce a new generation of travellers onto these services and obviously to move travellers from other existing services as well.”
Flights by $100 million
The service between Calgary and London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin will support 650 full-time jobs and generate and is expected to boost the economy by $100 million.
Extra 185,000 visitors to Calgary
The three new flights from the UK and Western Europe are expected to eventually bring up to 185,000 visitors to Calgary each year. WestJet's Dreamliners will carry 320 guests with the choice of 16 private pods in the business cabin with lie-flat seats, an upscale premium cabin and an updated economy cabin.
By Adrian Bishop