Ryanair Group To Base Five 737-8200 In Vienna For Summer 2022

Credit: Ryanair Group

SALZBURG, Austria—Ryanair Group has announced the addition of five aircraft to its Vienna base to operate nine more routes during its summer 2022 schedule.

The extra aircraft take the LCC’s fleet at Vienna Airport (VIE) to 19. 

“This winter Ryanair takes delivery of 55 new Boeing 737-8200 ‘game-changer’ [aircraft] and we are delighted to announce that five new aircraft will be based in Vienna operated by Ryanair Group Airlines,” Ryanair Group CEO Michael O´Leary said in Vienna on Sept. 28. 

Ryanair Group Airlines comprises Polish leisure carrier Buzz, Lauda, Malta Air and the much larger Irish LCC Ryanair.

The latest announcement will intensify the battle between Ryanair and Eastern European ULCC Wizz Air, which has also directed resources toward VIE and usually has around seven aircraft based there.

“We have so much money invested in Vienna and lost also a lot of money as well. That’s why we have no plans to move away [from Vienna],“ Lauda Europe and Malta Air CEO David O´Brien told Aviation Daily in a recent interview.

The new destinations to which Ryanair Group airlines will operate to from VIE are: Amman (AMM) in Jordan; Kosice (KSC) in Slovakia; Lamezia Terme (SUF), Rimini (RMI), Perugia (PEG) and Venice (VCE) in Italy; Manchester (MAN) in England; Pula (PUY) in Croatia; and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN).

“As other airlines in Vienna cut routes and flights, Ryanair is investing a further $500 million to rebuild Vienna’s traffic and will create 200 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers,” O´Leary said. The carrier is looking to handle 5.5 million passengers at VIE next year. 

“We operate next summer to more short-haul destinations compared to Austrian Airlines,” O’Leary added. 

The group CEO said he also intends to take further action to challenge the state aid granted to Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines to overcome the global pandemic and stated that an appeal has been lodged against decisions of the General Court of the European Union. He compared Austria to North Korea because of its decision to support just one airline, Austrian Airlines.

Vienna had become the most competitive airport in Europe before the impact of the global COVID pandemic. Airlines like Ryanair, Wizz Air and now-defunct short-haul LCC LEVEL Europe based aircraft in Vienna, which led to increased competition.

This price war had ensured cheap tickets for travelers during a period of two years and brought strong passenger growth for Vienna Airport as well. But the airlines that were fighting for market share accumulated high losses, some in the hundreds of millions of euros. LEVEL Europe was a casualty of the crisis. International Airlines Group set the Vienna-based carrier up in 2018 but ceased trading and entered insolvency in June 2020.

Kurt Hofmann

Kurt Hofmann has been writing on the airline industry for 25 years. He appears frequently on Austrian, Swiss and German television and broadcasting…