WTM 2010: Ryanair mulls new routes in Europe and North Africa

Ryanair is considering introducing or increasing its flight programmes next year to destinations in Spain, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Turkey and Tunisia.

Speaking at the low-cost carrier seminar, Ken O’Toole, the airline’s director of new route development, said the airline has 22 new aircraft coming into service next year, 13 of which still have to be allocated to routes.

He said the airline is currently looking at opportunities in a number of destinations, from a network carrier in Norway to the under-developed flight programme in Lisbon airport.

“We will engage with the local governments and regional governments to focus on the development of these facilities and increase inbound tourism to them,” he added.

O’Toole said the newly available aircraft are not simply ones straight off the assembly lines but also ones that have been withdrawn from service in countries where flying is becoming increasingly highly taxed.

For instance, he said Dublin airport has seen a 30% drop in traffic over the last two years as the government increases charges by 40%.

He added the airline may consider increasing flights through countries’ primary airports, proving they are prepared to offer incentives to do so.

“The airports are far more interested in Ryanair than Ryanair is in the airports,” O’Toole added.

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