Airlines routinely take the opportunity to lock-in and 'grandfather' attractively-timed slots at congested airports as the opportunity arises to secure them. I suspect that is the dynamic at work here. Ryanair had twelve units based at MAN for S2019 season. Why surrender those slots? MAG's operations at both STN and MAN are subject to this consideration, but EMA is not. And there are rumours that the EMA base will be reduced in size. I would suggest that we are seeing Ryanair securing its foothold at the more congested airports to protect future profitability. I don't think there is an element of corporate favouritism going on, though it is certainly a positive thing that MAG and Ryanair do maintain a good working relationship.
The real driver of Ryanair's network cutbacks is the continuing issue arising from non-delivery of the Boeing 737-MAX8 order. Carriers plan deployment of new fleet additions months - even years - in advance. As each date passes when another unit should have been delivered the noose tightens. Fleet strength falls progressively further and further behind what it was intended to be. And when will this end? Nobody knows. Can Ryanair assume that their -8200's (formerly known as MAX8's) will be on strength for the Summer 2020 season? Can they presume that aircrews will have completed their conversion training in time? My guess is probably not. So cutbacks and difficult decisions have to be put in place now. And they will inevitably protect their foothold at the most congested airports first. At MAN it's not just an issue with peak runway slots ... they need to safeguard their access to the limited capacity which T3 offers as well.
In an ideal world, we can presume that Ryanair would have been offloading some of their oldest B737-8AS units as MAX8's were delivered. As an outside observer, it does appear that they've been able to retain these. I've not noted many recent fleet disposals aside from reshuffling to other inhouse brands such as Malta Air and Buzz (Ryanair Sun). Maybe someone on here could clarify the numbers if I'm wrong on this. But what we can say for sure is that the GROWTH ELEMENT associated with the planned MAX8 order is definitely stymied until Boeing and the FAA resolve their impasse. When will that be? How long is a piece of string?
Meanwhile, Ryanair will protect their most important profit centres, and airports where slots are not scarce will bear the brunt in the short-term. This situation is actually painful for the industry in general: see the swingeing cutbacks on Norwegian Air routes which were MAX8 operations. And the increasing headaches Icelandair is facing as their proposed fleet planning falls further and further behind the curve. I guess we'll be seeing Air Iceland Connect DHC8-402Q's and that ex-Germania A319 for quite a while yet. And I would guess that TUI's S2020 plans will have to be tailored to available fleet strength at a level below what it might otherwise have been. Though there are a number of older frames they are able to hang on to in their case. Subject to the approval of lessors.
These must just be replacing flights on aircraft from other bases, because there isn't a notable increase in departures from Manchester.
Presumably in connection with forthcoming base closures Ryanair's Belfast route will end in early November (rather than reducing to just 2 weekly as previously announced), and Faro is only on sale once a week from January to March.
So is that 11 based for winter only or also for next summer too? Or I suppose it depends on MAX deliveries?
i fly often for business and leisure between UK and France and occasionally Germany & Spain. I encountered many queues upon arrival in T3 for passport control sometimes waiting up to 45 mins. Departures also busy but not had a significant delay that end. I refuse to pay BA or Lufthansa prices so won’t complain too much that it’s my choice to use Ryanair and therefore T3.
But is there anything planned in the short-medium term ref improvements to T3? I get embarrassed when our business colleagues travel with us and are greeted to long queues and missing their train, like other airports, I’m sure they’ve experienced it before, but come on MAG this should be as much as a priorty as what their currently doing with T2...
This probably won’t improve until the -8200’s (MAX) finally join the fleet. Weaker routes will make way for more profitable opportunities. Alot of market capacity has gone from the sunshine leisure sector due to Thomas Cook etc. If Ryanair want a piece of that their only short-term option is to cannibalise resources from existing routes.
Longer term, it will be interesting to see how many of these routes are resurrected once the -8200’s become available. Many are already completed (aside from whatever MCAS retrofit is mandated by regulators). So a large number of aircraft could join the fleet in a relatively short space of time once the grounding order is lifted.
What remains to be seen is whether Ryanair will prioritise deferred expansion of the network or replacing their older -8AS models when the time comes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryanair stepped up for afew more attractively-priced MAX’s if certain other carriers have cooled on the idea of introducing a stigmatised new type. Unloved brand new planes at a steep discount? Ryanair might like some of that!
Yes, read that too. But regular new-builds roll off the production line at the rate of almost two per day. Deliveries of ex-storage MAX’s will be supplementary to these . So delivery rate could be quite high.
Very disappointed ref Hamburg being dropped. Isn’t this served with a MAN based aircraft?
2 business destinations I fly to are Toulouse and Hamburg, have to fly via a hub airport to and from Toulouse now and come March EZY will be the only carrier on the HAM route...hoping those MAXs’ get sorted soon!!
Winter schedules see large increases from eight to twelve based aircraft as is S19. New route Katowice, Milan Malpensa & Prague.
Continued from S19 are Billund, Bordeaux, Gothenburg, Kiev, Marseilles, Nantes, Marrakesh and Thessaloniki. Cancelled routes are
Belfast International & Frankfurt. Overall seat growth +5% vs W18.
OK. A bit more on the German situation. The eco-extremist Greens have much more political clout in Germany than here in the UK and can therefore punch above their weight. They currently hold 67 seats in the Bundestag and they are rising in the polls. They oppose Angela Merkel’s coalition government, but their influence means that green credentials matter in German politics.
So ... effective April 2020, new ‘green’ taxes will be imposed on airlines. Short-haul tickets will attract a tax of €13.03 per sector and it will be illegal to price tickets at below cost. We know how Ryanair reacts to situations like this. I’m sure they’re loudly explaining to the German media why they feel forced to render so many German workers jobless.
With fleet availability at a premium, it makes sense to hang Germany out to dry from Ryanair’s perspective. What eco-extremists never like to acknowledge is that no-frills carrier’s fleets will still be fully deployed anyway. They’ll just be employing far fewer German nationals. And the loss to the German economy will be a gain for others.
German workers will suffer, but smug eco-extremist MP’s will preen themselves and boast about their achievements on behalf of the planet. They will be fine thankyou. Such admirable upstanding people!