|Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Sócrates joins Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary to officially open its 33rd European base. O’Leary commented: “Ryanair’s 2m annual passengers in Porto will help to create and sustain 2,000 local jobs. This new base demonstrates the opportunities that EU membership has delivered for Irish companies operating across Europe.”|
This week witnessed the official operational launch of Ryanair’s latest European base in Porto, Portugal. Even before this week Ryanair was serving Porto from 11 of its bases across Europe plus Paris Beauvais. This week sees the introduction of five further new routes from the airport to non-base airports in Basel, Eindhoven, Lille, St Etienne (near Lyon) and Tours. This brings to 17 the number of destinations served by Ryanair from Porto this summer, only two less than TAP Portugal, and making Ryanair the airport’s second biggest customer by a considerable margin. Based on OAG data for September Ryanair’s routes account for 26% of the airport’s scheduled capacity compared with 42% for TAP Portugal. easyJet with just under 8% of capacity ranks a distant third.
In 2004 the airport handled 2.87 million passengers, but in just four years this has grown by 58% to 4.54 million in 2008. In the first seven months of 2009 passenger numbers at the airport are down are relatively modest 4.2%.
17 destinations plus five more in winter
Ryanair’s first route to Porto was launched in January 2005 (from London Stansted), followed by Frankfurt Hahn in October 2005, and Liverpool and Paris Beauvais whose services began in February 2006. Five of the 17 destinations are served at least daily with London Stansted and Madrid served double daily.
|14||London Stansted (STN), Madrid (MAD)|
|12||Barcelona Girona (GRO)|
|7||Frankfurt Hahn (HHN), Paris Beauvais (BVA)|
|4||Brussels Charleroi (CRL), Eindhoven (EIN), Marseille (MRS)|
|3||Basel (BSL), Lille (LIL), Milan Bergamo (BGY)|
|2||Birmingham (BHX), Bristol (BRS), Liverpool (LPL), Pisa (PSA), St Etienne (EBU), Tours (TUF)|
|Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 7 September 2009
WF: Weekly Frequency
The St Etienne route is of particular interest as Ryanair has not operated from that airport since it abandoned its daily London Stansted service during the summer of 2006. Some of these destinations may be summer-only routes, but at the end of October five more destinations will be added to the network. These are Dűsseldorf Weeze (NRN), Faro (FAO), Gran Canaria (LPA), Karlsruhe/Baden (FKB) and Tenerife Sur (TFS). Routes that have previously been tried and then abandoned include Dublin, Stockholm Skavsta and Valencia.
Direct competition on Ryanair’s network is provided only on Basel (by easyJet) and Madrid (by Iberia and TAP Portugal), although there is indirect competition on routes to Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Lyon, Milan and Paris where Ryanair serves secondary airports.