Ryanair has unveiled plans to add direct services from its Frankfurt Airport base to Manchester and London/Stansted. The Irish low-cost carrier’s new German hub, which is due to go online imminently, will initially be linked to four Iberian destinations (Alicante, Malaga, Palma and Faro) with two based aircraft. Its new services to the UK – twice daily to Stansted and six times a week to Manchester – will be added in October to coincide with the introduction of Ryanair’s winter timetable.
Manchester Airport CEO Ken O’Toole said it was “pleasing” to see Ryanair expand its route network from the facility, adding that Frankfurt “is popular with leisure passengers and a key business market for the North.”
Stansted’s Aviation Director Mats Sigurdson noted the services will also offer travellers the opportunity to connect onto long-haul services via the German hub.
The addition of Frankfurt increases the number of destinations that will be served by Ryanair from Stansted this winter to 124, including new connections to Aalborg, Oradea and Pardubice. The carrier is yet to finalise its Manchester programme.
The European Commission has ordered three airlines to repay millions of euros in state aid after ruling their deals with Klagenfurt Airport were anticompetitive. An investigation by the regulator found that service and marketing agreements put in place by the local authority-owned Austrian airport for Ryanair, TUIfly and Hapag-Lloyd Express (HLX) conferred an “undue advantage which cannot be justified under EU state aid rules”.
The Commission added the agreements “could not, when they were concluded, have been expected to generate more revenues than additional costs. As no profit-driven airport manager would have concluded such loss-making agreements, they amount to state aid to the airlines”.
In its ruling, the Commission has ordered Ryanair to repay around €2m to the Austrian authorities, while HLX (now part of TUIfly) and TUIfly will repay €9.6m and €1.1m respectively.
The regulator also probed similar deals with Austrian Airlines and airberlin, but concluded that these would have been acceptable to a profit-driven airport manager.
Low-cost carrier Ryanair will make Frankfurt Airport its 85th base at the start of the summer 2017 schedule. From March two aircraft will be stationed at the airport, the carrier’s ninth German base, and daily services will be offered to Alicante, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Faro.
Fraport’s CEO Dr Stefan Schulte said: “We are pleased to have Ryanair, Europe’s leading low-cost airline, in our programme at Frankfurt soon. Beginning in the summer schedule 2017, we will be offering passengers in our region another attractive travel option – using the modern Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Thus, we are responding to the strong and growing demand in our region for this aviation segment. Ryanair’s decision to come to FRA underscores the increasing importance of Frankfurt for low-cost traffic. We wish Ryanair “Always Happy Landings” here at Frankfurt.”
Fraport says it will meet the low-costs carrier’s requirements by adapting its passenger and terminal processes while Ryanair is predicting its initial four services will see 400,000 passengers per annum using the airport.
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer David O’Brien commented: “Our two based aircraft represent an investment of $200m, which further underlines our commitment to growing traffic, tourism and jobs in the Hessen region. We look forward to working closely with Fraport to deliver industry leading efficiencies and further growth at Germany’s biggest airport.”
Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair marked a significant milestone in the airline’s history when it took delivery of its 400th Next-Generation 737-800. The aircraft, EI-FRC (c/n 62690), was handed over on March 31, and joins the largest fleet of Next-Generation 737-800s operating in the world.
Ryanair’s COO Michael Hickey said: “The Boeing 737-800, with its industry leading technical reliability and seating capacity, has been the foundation upon which our successful and safe growth has been built upon, since we took our first delivery in March 1999. We are delighted to be now taking delivery of our 400th example, which includes the new Boeing Sky Interior and slimline seats, offering extra leg room and an enhanced customer experience.”
Ryanair has more than 130 unfilled orders for 737-800s and is also the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200, the latest member of the 737 MAX family. The Dublin-based carrier has 100 MAX 200s on order; featuring a configuration of up to 200 seats, increased revenue potential and 20% better fuel efficiency per seat, when compared to the current generation of single-aisle airliners.