Ryanair boosts summer schedule from Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle

Irish budget carrier, Ryanair is to significantly grow its activities from Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle airports in the UK next year, introducing a total of ten new routes from the three facilities as part of an expanded offering from the summer schedule.

At Manchester an additional based aircraft next summer will deliver capacity growth to support six new routes and additional frequencies in ten existing markets, growing the budget carrier’s total offering by around a quarter. With eight 737-800s now stationed at the North West airport, the Ryanair network will grow to 41 routes for summer 2016, handling around 3.8 million passengers.

New service will comprise a four times weekly link to Limoges; three times weekly flights to Bratislava, Carcassonne and Malta; and twice weekly flights to Bremen and Brindisi. Meanwhile, more flights will be offered to Alicante (twice daily), Barcelona (twice daily), Dublin (six times daily), Faro (twice daily), Ibiza (daily), Madrid (daily), Milan Bergamo (nine times weekly), Rome (nine times weekly), Valencia (three times weekly) and Warsaw (three times weekly).

“Manchester is one of the fastest growing airports in the Ryanair network, and we look forward to working closely with Manchester Airport Group as we continue to grow jobs, traffic and routes in the North West,” said Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair at this week’s announcement.

At Birmingham it will grow capacity by a quarter with two new routes to Corfu and Vilnius and expanded schedule on existing routes. This will increase its summer 2016 offering to 112 weekly flights on 21 routes, delivering an estimated 1.75 million passengers per annum, according to the carrier.

The new schedule sees the introduction of twice weekly links to Corfu and Vilnius, while extra flights will see frequencies grow to Alicante (twice daily), Barcelona (nine times weekly), Dublin (six times daily), Malaga (nine times weekly), Malta (three times weekly) and Palma (nine times weekly).

“Ryanair is pleased to launch our Birmingham summer 2016 schedule, including two new routes to Corfu and Vilnius, which will deliver 1.75 million customers per annum and support 1,300 ‘on-site’ jobs at Birmingham Airport, as Ryanair grows by 25 per cent. Ryanair will continue to connect Birmingham with Europe’s key centres of business including Barcelona and Dublin,” said Carol Anne O’Neill, Head of Sales and Marketing, Ryanair, at the Birmingham summer schedule launch last week.

Ryanair will add additional capacity into a Corfu market already served from Birmingham by Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways, filling a void left following the departure of Monarch Airlines from this market this year. The airline will offer the first regular link from Birmingham to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, which is fast growing as a city break leisure destination.

Elsewhere in the UK, Ryanair is once again looking to grow its activities at Newcastle Airport in the North East England and will introduce new summer 2016 services to Alicante and Malaga, adding to its existing Dublin flights, doubling its capacity at Newcastle in the process. The carrier will introduce a five times weekly link to Alicante and a four times weekly rotation to Malaga from Newcastle next year alongside its existing Dublin service, which will be flown on a nine times weekly schedule. These flights will deliver around 270,000 customers per annum to the facility.

The growth highlights that demand remains strong to traditional leisure markets from Newcastle and the budget carrier will bring more capacity to the existing flights of easyJet, Jet2.com and Thomson Airways to both Alicante and Malaga. The Alicante link will start this winter on a three times weekly basis and will continue into the summer schedule, while the Malaga flight will be introduced from spring next year.

“We welcome the increased choice which these Ryanair flights will deliver to the marketplace from Newcastle. Spain remains a popular destination from Newcastle and this capacity is much needed to satisfy our market demand,” Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, Newcastle International Airport told Routesonline last week.

Data from the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the past ten years highlights the strong demand between Newcastle and these two popular Spanish locations. However, It shows that while demand has remained strong, the type of traffic has significantly changed as the emergence of low-cost carriers and repositioning of traditional holiday package offerings have meant a significant rise in scheduled traffic versus charter demand.

The expanded offering from the UK is part of Ryanair’s ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, which includes new bases, a new personalised website, new app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms and improved inflight menus. Many observers describe this transition as the airline growing up from its adolescent youth to become a more mature airline.

"Our customers can look forward to further improvements in the coming months, including our ground breaking personalised website, with exciting new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’ and real customer destination reviews, and improved menus, new cabin crew uniforms and new cabin interiors on board, with more to come in Year 3, as we continue to offer so much more than just lowest fares," said Kate Sherry, Deputy Director of Route Development, Ryanair.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…