Ryanair today (26 Jan) launched its biggest ever Brussels winter (2016) schedule, with 8 new routes to Hamburg, Madrid, Malta, Milan (Malpensa), Sofia, Timisoara, Toulouse and Verona, new winter services to Biarritz and Bratislava, and more flights to Alicante, Bucharest, Malaga, Rome and Valencia, which will deliver 8.5m customers p.a. (+1m extra) and support 6,300* jobs at both Brussels Charleroi and Zaventem Airports.
Ryanair’s Brussels W 2016 schedule will deliver:
- 11 based aircraft
- 4 new routes: Toulouse (daily), Sofia (4 weekly), Timisoara (3 weekly), & Verona (3 weekly)
- New winter route to Biarritz (3 weekly)
- 61 routes in total
- More flights to Bucharest (9 x weekly)
- 5m customers p.a.
- 4,200* “on-site” jobs p.a.
- 5 based aircraft
- 4 new routes: Hamburg (2 daily), Madrid (2), Malta (1) & Milan Malpensa (2)
- New winter route to Bratislava (6 weekly)
- 17 routes in total
- More flights to Malaga (daily), Rome (3 daily), Alicante (5 weekly) & Valencia (5 weekly)
- 3m customers p.a.
- 2,100* “on-site” jobs p.a.
Ryanair will continue to connect Brussels with Europe’s major centres of business including Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Milan and Rome, with high frequency services, better timings and the lowest fares, making Ryanair the ideal choice for Belgian business and leisure customers.
Belgian consumers and visitors can choose from 78 Brussels routes in winter 2016 and can look forward to further improvements, as Ryanair continues its “Always Getting Better” programme, which includes more new routes, a new app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms and improved inflight menus.
In Brussels, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“We are pleased to launch our Brussels winter 2016 schedule, which includes 8 new routes to Hamburg, Madrid, Malta, Milan Malpensa, Sofia, Timisoara, Toulouse and Verona, new winter services to Biarritz and Bratislava, and more flights to Alicante, Bucharest, Malaga, Rome and Valencia, which will help deliver 8.5m customers p.a. and support 6,300* jobs at Charleroi and Zaventem Airports.
To celebrate the launch of our Brussels winter 2016 schedule, we are releasing 100,000 seats for sale across our European network from just €19.99, which are available for booking until Monday (1 Feb). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
*ACI research confirms up to 750 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1m passengers
Questions to Michael O’Leary (MOL) and his answers during the press conference
Terror alert in Belgium, and especially in Brussels: in response Ryanair lowered its fares and as a result the load factors remained high.
Hedging of oil: this was done because Ryanair doesn’t want uncertainty about oil prices. Therefore the oil prices for Ryanair might have been higher than the market prices ($92 per barrel 18 months ago, later $62 per barrel and now $42). But the lower oil prices have been passed on to the customers in lower fares.
Airlines for Europe (A4E): Before coming to the press conference, MOL was at the European Parliament to defend the goals of A4E: lower airport taxes (airline fares have decreased by 20% in 5 years, whereas airport taxes increased by 50%), fight against ATC strikes, single European sky (A4E wants action this year on both issues, the European Commission should take the lead but doesn’t propose anything), roll-back of national taxes on airline tickets (Italy, Norway, …).
A4E is inviting all airlines to join and it is expected that the other associations will dissolve in short time (early summer): easyJet leaves ELFAA, Lufthansa leaves AEA… Invitations have been sent last week!
Amsterdam Schiphol: Ryanair has 16 weekly slots. It is difficult to get more, because the authorities are favouring KLM, which always gets a first choice for available slots.
Business passengers: MOL estimates the number of business passengers at 25-27%, but only 2% select the business package with reserved seats in the front, checked baggage, flexibility, etc. Ryanair wants to increase this number to 10% with a new advertising campaign.
Wizz Air competition: Question about Wizz Air vowing to have lower costs than Ryanair by the end of the year and the risk that it means for the lower end of the customer base of Ryanair. MOL said that he likes the CEO of Wizz Air, who often tells good jokes. MOL considers this claim as a good joke. Currently the average fare of Ryanair (€47) is 28% lower than the one of Wizz Air (€60), and the costs of Ryanair continue to decrease (fuel, airport taxes, new efficient planes), which means that the gap with Wizz Air will increase, not decrease!
Switzerland: Ryanair flies only to Basel, because Swiss airport taxes are very high (~€40) and Ryanair preferes to concentrate on countries and airports where taxes are lower.
North Africa: no plans to fly to Egypt or Tunisia. Load factor to Morocco is decreasing: people prefer European destinations in the Mediterranean. Ryanair however does fly to Eilat in Israel.