Germany: Ryanair increases Bremen traffic by 50% thanks to 21 new routes

Logo: Airport BremenRyanair opened its second German base in Bremen on 1 April 2007 and by the end of the year, it had handled over half a million passengers at the airport, helping Bremen’s traffic to grow last year by 32% to 2.23 million. Bremen’s passenger numbers increased by 534,000 last year while Ryanair carried around 560,000, suggesting that the airline stimulated plenty of new traffic without grabbing much traffic from existing airlines and routes.

Chart: Bremen Airport traffic 2005-08
Source: Flughafen Bremen

Since September, Ryanair has based a third 737-800 at the north German airport and in the last quarter of 2007 Bremen’s year-on-year traffic was up over 50%.

Spanish and Finnish routes generate highest load factors

Analysis of traffic data for 2007 reveals which routes have achieved the highest, and lowest, load factors. The monthly load factors for the 12 routes that were operated during the summer are shown below.

Chart: Ryanair load factors at Bremen 2007
Source: Derived from Destatis data

The average load factor is for the entire route network which includes six routes that began in September and a further three that began in October. A total of 21 destinations have been served at some point by Ryanair during 2007. The only destination on which Ryanair faces direct competition is to Palma de Mallorca, which is served by several charter and scheduled airlines including Air Berlin and TUIfly.

Although the average network load factor reached 75% during August, the September expansion resulting from the third aircraft and the normal seasonality of demand meant that base load factors dropped to 57% in November, before recovering to 64% in December. The average load factor across all routes in 2007 was estimated at 64%.

Selling the Italian routes to Alghero and Trapani in winter seems to have been a particular challenge with estimated load factors of below 30% in November and 50% in December. Conversely, Alicante has been an instant success, carrying on from where the Murcia route left off.

The new service to Bratislava (also promoted as serving Vienna) failed to achieve a 50% load factor during any of its first four months of operation. The top five routes in terms of load factors and passengers are summarised below.

Route Estimated load factor
(April – December 2007)
Route Estimated passengers
(April – December 2007)
Malaga 79.4% London Stansted 129,022
Alicante 77.4% Girona 45,252
Tampere 76.8% Tampere 44,120
Girona 76.7% Oslo Torp 39,019
Dublin 73.7% Dublin 38,170
Source: Derived from Destatis data

New routes to Edinburgh (twice weekly) and Manchester (thrice weekly) began in early April, while the Verona route was re-started. Additional new routes to Haugesund in Norway (twice weekly) and Salzburg (thrice weekly) are scheduled to start in June.

The only routes served last summer that appear to have been dropped are Murcia (replaced by the Alicante service) and Pisa. The thrice-weekly Pisa service failed to achieve a 70% load factor, even during the peak summer season.


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