RYANAIR ANNOUNCES TWO NEW AIRCRAFT, 12 NEW ROUTES AND 1.6 MILLION PASSENGERS FOR BRISTOL
1 MILLION £1 SEATS
Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline, announced today (14th Jan) that it will add two new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and open 12 new routes (33 in total) at its Bristol base. This brings Ryanair’s investment in Bristol to four aircraft worth $280million.
Ryanair’s new routes to/from Alicante, Barcelona, Cagliari, Eindhoven, Limoges, Malta, Montpellier, Perpignan, Rimini, Seville, Toulon and Trieste will increase Ryanair’s traffic at Bristol to almost 1.6 million per annum which will sustain 1,600 local jobs and deliver over
€180 million in tourism revenues for Bristol.
Ryanair celebrated the announcement of these new aircraft, routes and increased traffic by releasing 1 million £1 seats for travel across its European network in February and March.
Route Start Date Frequency Alicante 3rd July Daily Barcelona Reus 2nd July 3 pw Cagliari 1st July 2 pw Eindhoven 31st March 3 pw Limoges 2nd July 3 pw Malta 5th July 2 pw Montpellier 2nd July 3 pw Perpignan 3rd July 2 pw Rimini 3rd July 2 pw Seville 3rd July 2 pw Toulon 2nd July 3 pw Trieste 5th July 2 pw
Speaking in Bristol today, Ryanair’s Head of Sales & Marketing Lesley Kane said:
“Bristol today celebrates two new aircraft and 12 new routes. These new routes go on sale today with Eindhoven starting first on 31st March. With a total of 33 low fare Ryanair routes from Bristol this summer passengers can beat the recession by flying at Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares and no fuel surcharges to exciting destinations all over Europe. Ryanair’s 1.6 million passengers will sustain 1,600 local jobs and generate over €180 million in tourism revenues to Bristol and its surrounding regions next year.
Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol International Airport, said:
“The launch of 12 new routes shows the strength of the market in the South West and Wales, and Ryanair’s commitment to meeting demand for travel from the region’s airport.
“Routes such as Perpignan and Rimini provide exciting new possibilities for leisure passengers, while the new services to destinations such as Seville and Montpellier will be welcomed by the business community. Today’s announcement also presents an opportunity for the tourist trade in the South West, coming at a time when the UK represents such great value for money for European visitors.”
Still FR hesitates to go head to head with easyJet from BRS. Only ALC will be in direct competition although the two airlines' versions of Milan will continue and there will now be three routes to 'Barcelona': the real one with easyJet and Ryanair's Reus to go with their established route to Girona.
All very good for those punters who don't mind using Ryanair (I'm not one) although I do wonder how four aircraft will be utilised in the winter.
Maybe some will be parked as easyJet is doing at BRS this winter at certain days/times in the week.
I am sounding too negative on second thoughts. During these extraordinary economic days such an expansion must be welcome and is cause for congratulation to the airport management, despite my personal reservations.
There is a post on another forum from someone who invariably seems well-informed about such matters that Ryanair is to axe a large number of routes from Poland to the UK in March because of an increase in Polish navigational fees and charges.
The routes include those from Bristol to Gdansk, Sczecin and Katowice - the first two only commenced in November. easyJet used to fly Bristol-Gdansk but axed it along with all their UK routes to that airport because, they said, loads were poor. At the time I and others said they weren't poor at all and the likely cause was more to do with charges at the Polish end. The same applies to Bristol-Warsaw (load factors in the 90s% from BRS last summer for most months) where it now emerges that the low cost airlines will have to pay the much higher charges at Warsaw Airport main terminal.
No surprise that the Polish route boom is over for the UK with so many Poles returning home for good having made a few quid whilst in these islands.
Given Ryanair's base expansion at BRS later this year it will fascinating to see how the airline utilises the aircraft freed up from these Polish routes, although the cancellations would only mean the loss of six or seven rotations per week. I hope Ryanair won't fill the gap by using them all on one new route such as Malaga that would be in direct competition with easyJet. They might though as they have alrady announced a daily Alicante against easyJet.
Update: This seems confirmed as none of the three routes are now bookable in the FR web booking engine after March.
It is timed to be operated by a BHD aircraft until the end of June then, when the BRS base is expanded at the beginning of July, by a BRS-based aircraft. It can just be squeezed into the schedule but means a number of four rotation days for some aircraft to such places as Shannon, Knock, and Eindhoven.
Until July the service is an evening one then it switches to out at lunchtime, back early afternoon.
My original thought was that it had no chance because of its timings, it being single daily and it was up against easyJet’s 3 x daily service to BFS. However, a closer look at easyJet’s booking engine shows their BFS route has been reduced to 2 x daily this summer with the early afternoon rotation axed. Therefore the FR venture to BHD might pick up some punters from this.
Flybe used to operate to BHD, at one time 3 x daily, but had to give best to easyJet at BFS in the end and pulled out.
Bristol woman's epic journey home after cancelled Morocco flight
Left stranded in Morocco after a cancelled flight, Lara Baker, from Bristol, decided to make her own way home – by taxi, ferry, train and plane.
The 37-year-old had spent Christmas and New Year on a surfing trip with a friend, but when the time came to fly home they found their flight with budget airline Ryanair had been cancelled.
The flight to Bristol International on January 3 was cancelled when the plane travelling to the Moroccan city to pick the passengers up was diverted to Fez due to heavy fog.
Lara, a project manager from Redland, said: "We eventually managed to find out that there were no flights available from Marrakech to Bristol until January 10. This was not acceptable, as we needed to get home to go to work. As a contractor I do not get paid if I do not go to work. Neither of us could afford to stay in Morocco."
Lara and her friend Richard Luxton from Hertfordshire, joined couple Simon Ward and Mary Penning, from north Devon, who also needed to get home.
"We just decided we had to get on with it," she said. "Otherwise we would have been stuck there. The idea was to get to Spain – we knew we'd be able to get a flight from there."
Together, the four of them got a taxi into Marrakech, and the next day managed to get on an 11-hour train to Tangiers in northern Morocco. After getting a taxi to the city's port, they caught a ferry to Algeciras in Spain, and found a hire car to drive the few hours to Malaga. In Malaga, they finally were able to board a flight back to Bristol, and arrived home more than 48 hours later than planned.
"Not only was this stressful and expensive, but it ruined the memory of our holiday," said Lara.
The cost of Lara and Richard's return flights with Ryanair was about £500, and their unexpected return journey set them back £800.
Ryanair has refunded half the cost of their original flights, which leaves them £500 out of pocket.
Lara believes she is entitled to additional compensation for the expenses they incurred trying to get home, but in an emailed response from the airline to her request she was told that, because the flight was cancelled "for reasons out of control of the airline", no compensation was due.
She said: "I find it outrageous that a company can strand families, single travellers and groups in an airport and wash their hands of them. A flight a week later is not good enough and we had no guarantee we would get on that flight either."
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: "Ryanair always works within EU guidelines. In cases where the flight cancellation is weather related and it's due to circumstances beyond our control, we offer passengers a refund or a place on the next available flight."
"Apart from that, the passengers are not entitled to anything further. We apologise for the inconvenience but we cannot provide compensation in this case."
You can see how on the ball the West Country hacks are. This incident occurred during the Christmas/New Year holiday period but did not come onto the radar of the Bristol Evening Post's eagle-eyed sleuths until last weekend.
The local ITV station did not get onto it until this evening when both the studio anchor woman and the reporter told us that 'hundreds of passengers' were left abandoned in Marrakech because of the failure of the Ryanair flight to turn up. Old Michael must be packing them in three to a seat by the sound of it then as I thought that the FR 738s had only 189 seats for passengers.
What this does show though is the chance people take with airlines like Ryanair who only fly to some destinations from some regional airports a couple of times a week. If that destination is way off the beaten track there are major problems likely to be in store if the return flight fails to put in an appearance.
These people have learned that lesson the hard way and join a rather large club of passengers who have undergone similar experiences with Ryanair. Unfortunately, they won't be the last.
Ryanair's new 3 x weekly service to Eindhoven commences tomorrow morning.
Have to wonder how they will find enough passengers with KLM and easyJet flying to Amsterdam.
I see that KLM are only operating 3 x daily this summer. Can't remember the last time the frequency was this low - sometime in the mid 1990s I should think.
Probably has more to do with the competing AF to CDG (competing against themselves for inter-lining passengers) and LH to FRA than old MOLie frightening them with his initiative that gives Bristolian PSV supporters a chance to watch their team - so long as they are prepared to stay in the Land of Philips for a few days.
From July Ryanair will operate the new BRS-BHD route twice daily. Seems a surprise because the May figures were not great - 6419 passengers, average load 104, load factor 55%.
Even odder is that the new rotation will be at lunchtime and the other one later in the day, so there is no opportunity for a day trip in either direction.
easyJet reduced its BFS route from 3 x daily to 2x daily (slightly fewer at weekends) for this summer and carried 13,635 in May, ave load 120, load factor 77%.
Perhaps FR thinks it can grab some of these passengers but it still seems strange to me.
The new FR routes commence in the first week of July and although there will be two extra aircraft based (giving a total of four) some of the routes currently operated by a/c from other bases will transfer to BRS-based machines - these are the Shannon, Belfast City and one of the 3 daily Dublin rotations.
The current FR route figures for May are as follows and are a mixed bag.
Dublin 22302 passengers/ave load 134/load factor 71% Shannon 6604/106/56% Knock 3150/88/46% Riga 2550/142/75% Poznan 3224/179/95% Wroclaw 3015/168/89% Rzeszow 2687/168/89% - 1 less rotation in month than Wroclaw Bratislava 2338/130/69% Porto 2129/118/63% Budapest 2929/163/86% Milan Bergamo 6758/109/58% Girona 8898/144/76% Eindhoven 2275/88/46% Bergerac 3130/112/59% Beziers 3479/102/54% Pau 1445/80/42%
The Polish destinations that remain have excellent load factors, albeit one or two have fewer rotations than last summer.
Milan Bergamo still goes daily summer and winter against easyJet to Milan Malpensa, although this summer easy have weakened and no longer operate on Saturdays. In May they carried 5765 passengers on their MXP route, ave load 111, load factor 71%.
Knock and Pau have never been brilliant and Pau was axed for last winter. The main summer months should see Beziers and Bergerac into the 80% load factors, as last year, but I doubt that Eindhoven will do any better than Knock, which route rarely gets beyond 70% load factor in the main part of the summer.
Shannon is regressing - it used to be in the high 70s%, even in early summer.
The load factors are broadly similar to the FR routes for May from Birmingham, published on another website. If this is repeated across the FR UK provincial bases the airline must be concerned about some of the routes.
Of course, all this is of general interest only because, as ever, it does not tell us the important thing - the yield.
The Belfast one is a surprise but both Flybe and Jet2 seem to try and maintain regular services here at Leeds despite the fact that their loads continue to be rather on the weak side. I presume the operating costs are lower on the short hop across the water enabling them to operate with lower passenger loads.
I have posted elsewhere in this forum that MOL now says there will be growth at Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol airports which makes the airline's recent announcement that growth will be frozen at all their UK bases either a hollow threat or a temporary one.
I had a look at the Ryanair loads for July, the month the expanded base kicked in. The new routes are shown in red and are a mixed bag.
The month is slightly artificial as most of the passengers on the new routes would have been outbound with early return sectors lightly loaded.
Of the new French routes Limoges is the clear winner with Toulon languishing.
In Ireland Belfast City is now double daily Mon to Fri and single daily at weekends. The loads are poor but it is in competition with easyJet to Belfast International that carried over 14,000 passengers in the month with a load factor approaching 80%.
The new Spanish routes are Reus and Seville with both making very good starts, especially Seville. Reus is in competition with FR's own Girona route and easyJet's Barcelona with the latter carrying over 13,500 passengers in the month.
The new Italian routes were not spectacular with Rimini the best.
Malta is new and its figures are very respectable. Bristol also has a weekly Air Malta charter that performed creditably carrying 1160 passengers – interestingly, local airports at EXT and CWL also have weekly Air Malta charters to Malta yet their numbers, with no low cost competition, were considerably below BRS at 747 and 800 passengers respectively.
Finally, Eindhoven was improved on the previous summer months and BRS's AMS route with KLM and easyJet was up 3% on July 2008 at 21,076 passengers, yet with one less daily KLM rotation than in 2008.
The other new route was Alicante operating daily. As this is in competition with easyJet's double daily it is not possible to establish the Ryanair figures. However, over 26,000 used the combined routes in July, up nearly 10,000 on July 2008 when easyJet had the route to itself. It might therefore be deduced that Ryanair carried the bulk of the extra passengers.
Your comments about the MLA service are interesting given the recent discussions on the Leeds pages about the new Ryanair service to Malta starting next summer. Many people up here don't think the service will prove to be very popular. Those figures for BRS look promising. FR will be operating both Limoges and Montpellier from Leeds too so it's good to see how the routes are performing from our sister airport in Bristol! (airport with short undulating runway and relatively poor road connections.)
It's good to see the Seville service performing well. That's a route I'd like to see here if Ryanair continue their expansion here.
I notice today's route launch was involved new routes from Glasgow Prestwick, Liverpool John Lennon, Edinburgh and Bristol Airport. You can never tell with Ryanair whether the new routes will actually mean more flights or will they just end up been at the expense of other non profitable routes.