Posted on: 04 July 2014 by Mark Howells
Ryanair is to operate domestic routes for the first time since 2011 with the opening of a base at Glasgow Airport and thrice-daily services from both there and Edinburgh to London Stansted beginning on 26 October.
Introducing the new services, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, explained that the new base at Glasgow (the airline’s 69th) would create a “blended approach” with Prestwick Airport to serving southwest Scotland. “One airport, Prestwick, will focus on leisure, the other, Glasgow, on business traffic, similar to our operations at Brussels Zaventem and Brussels Charleroi,” he noted.
“We’re still committed to Prestwick and will carry more than half a million passengers there this year,” Jacobs emphasised. “But approximately 375,000 passengers will shift from PIK to GLA as the routes to Dublin, Stansted, Derry, Warsaw Modlin, Wroclaw and Bydgoscz, move to Glasgow.”
Jacobs added that the new services would add 2 million passengers a year to the airline’s largest UK base at Stansted, as well as creating and supporting about 2,500 additional jobs in the Stansted area.
“Stansted is a great airport for business customers and becoming more so with our new services. This will be a better winter schedule than ever before for business travellers – and we’ll have the new business product coming in the autumn,” Jacobs confirmed.
Asked what had changed the most since dropping domestic routes, the market or the airline, Jacobs suggested both. “We are probably the airline that’s evolving and developing the most at the moment,” he responded. “And the UK [market] is savvy about low-fare airlines.”
Jacobs declared that on these domestic flights Ryanair will have a larger number of base price seats than its competitors. “We want to make sure that those flights will be filled,” he remarked. “I expect that some of the competitors will reconsider their routes from Scotland. And if a price war is coming, great – that’s what we do well.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net