Ryanair has taken a fresh step on to the terrain of traditional tour operators by announcing the launch of services from Gatwick to Faro.


The Portuguese holiday destination is among five new services the no-frills carrier will launch from Gatwick on October 31, along with Porto, Bologna, Milan and Bergamo.


One-way fares to Faro will start from £19.99. Ryanair could not be contacted for details of frequencies.


The UK’s second-biggest airport, Gatwick is the traditional home of charter carriers – although easyJet is now the largest airline serving the airport.


Ryanair has increasingly muscled into tour operator territory over the past two years, moving into busy holiday airports such as Gatwick and Malaga and flying well beyond its previous two-hour journey limit to north Africa and the Canary Islands.


The Irish carrier already flies to Faro from Stansted and several UK regional airports, but from Gatwick the only beach-holiday destinations it currently serves are Alicante and Girona.