The inauguration of Ryanair’s base of operations in 2010 at Malaga Airport. :: SUR
Irish airline Ryanair will increase its number of connections between Malaga and key European destinations this coming winter. Malaga airport’s leading airline expects an increase in the number of passengers next year after a period of low demand as a result of high prices.
The low-cost airline transports one in four passengers using Malaga Airport, a total of three million travellers. It is also the company with the largest number of direct routes from the Costa del Sol - linking Malaga with 50 of Ryanair’s total 138 destinations.
Head of Scheduling for Ryanair, Niall O’Connor, told SUR that from October, when the winter season starts, there will be two daily flights to London. For the same period last year, ten flights a week covered this route.
He also said that there will be an increase in the services to new destinations launched this summer, such as Brussels. Five flights will link Malaga with the Belgian city every week.
Italy will be better-connected this winter. O’Connor said that there are to be between two and three flights to Rome, as well as a twice-weekly direct service to Milan.
The increase in demand fromGermany will also be taken into consideration. “We already have an important presence in Germany; there are routes to Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Bremen. We will also be adding Nuremberg. We are seeing important increases in Poland and other eastern European countries,” said O’Connor.
The airline’s Head of Scheduling highlighted the significance of Malaga for Ryanair’s activity. “It is a very important airport. The numbers speak for themselves. Here we have one of our 69 European bases with seven aircraft stationed here during the summer. What’s more, we will keep this centre of operations open in winter. With the freezing of airport charges until 2025 announced by the Government, it is going to be easy to maximize the amount of traffic to Malaga. But it does depend on the airport; our aim is to increase the number of flights to what we consider to be one of the most important terminals,” he said.
A key airport
Since 2012, there has been a reduction in demand as a result of increased airport charges. However, O’Connor predicted: “We are the big airline of Andalucía with a total of 4.7 million passengers. We are not expecting an increase in passenger numbers for this year, but we are optimistic for the future.
“In 2015 we hope to see a rise in passengers in the Spanish airport network. The increases will be significant in Madrid and Barcelona, but numbers will also increase in other terminals.”
O’Connor stressed that it is important that the airline maintains at least its market share of 20 per cent of passengers at Malaga Airport - this way the three million customers will be consolidated. “It is an important amount. We are very optimistic about our prospects for next year.”
He concluded by revealing that Ryanair’s Spanish fleet will undergo a significant expansion in the next five years with the arrival of 180 aircraft. This will increase the airline’s number of planes to a total of 400 and will allow an increase of 30 million passengers on top of the 2014 figure of 82 million.