New Ryanair’s next three ‘primary’ airport bases discovered

New Ryanair’s next three ‘primary’ airport bases discovered

“Ryanair will open at least three new bases next year. We won’t fly to London Heathrow, Charles De Gaulle and Frankfurt Main – but every other airport is now on the table,” David O’Brien, CCO of New Ryanair, told last week.’s scientific analysis has identified the 10 most likely new base opportunities as: Amsterdam, London Gatwick, Paris Orly, Copenhagen, Oslo Gardermoen, Vienna, Düsseldorf, Stockholm Arlanda, Milan Malpensa, and Hamburg.

Last week asked Ryanair’s CCO, David O’Brien: “What new bases the New Ryanair will open next year?” His written answer was: “Ryanair will open at least three new bases next year. We won’t fly to London Heathrow, Charles De Gaulle and Frankfurt Main – but every other airport is now on the table.”  O’Brien continues: “Not only have we broadened our appeal to the consumer, but more and more airports of all types now appreciate what we have to offer. Indeed, our biggest challenge next year will be having enough aircraft to satisfy demand, not just from consumers, but from airports across Europe.” O’Brien also said New Ryanair’s 2014 base additions are a good example of this change in its appeal. “We have already opened new bases at Athens, Brussels Zaventem, Lisbon and Rome Fiumicino, with Cologne [Bonn], Gdansk and Glasgow to follow this month, and our 180 new aircraft will allow us to grow by 30m customers over the next five years. We estimate that 50% of that growth will be at primary airports.”

Ryanair’s 69 bases

Ryanair’s 69 bases will increase to 72 by end-2015. New additions in 2014 include Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome Fiumicino. Expecting that New Ryanair will grow “by 30m customers” over the next five years Ryanair’s CCO, David O’Brien, tells “We estimate that 50% of that growth will be at primary airports.”

Hot favourites: Amsterdam, Gatwick, Orly

So, where will the three new bases be? Rather than guess, we did some scientific number-crunching in order to establish the most likely new base opportunities for Ryanair. We concentrated on identifying the high-volume, high-yielding markets now increasingly important to New Ryanair, rather than the leisure and VFR-orientated and regional destinations the ultra-low cost carrier used to be famous for.

Our methodology was:

  1. Look at the existing 69 bases and see if there are ‘primary’ airports unserved in the same city/catchment – for example Milan Malpensa versus Milan Bergamo;
  2. Evaluate non-base airports with existing high numbers of Ryanair flights (for example Ibiza is Ryanair’s 32nd largest operation, with 110 weekly flights, w/c 6 October);
  3. Remove any potential bases with high levels of inbound leisure traffic – for example Venice Marco Polo;
  4. Rank the remaining opportunities by 2013 annual passenger traffic;

The outcome of this analysis delivers the following results and’s top 10 suggestions to O’Brien for its ‘primary’ airport bases for next year:

1) Amsterdam; 2) London Gatwick; 3) Paris Orly; 4) Copenhagen; 5) Oslo Gardermoen; 6) Vienna; 7) Düsseldorf; 8) Stockholm Arlanda; 9) Milan Malpensa; 10) Hamburg.

The top three opportunities are interesting, more because they identify airports which were ‘not’ listed by O’Brien as potential ‘primary’ bases. Amsterdam is the only ‘FLAP’ hub airport (Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris CDG – Europe’s busiest four airports) not mentioned in his roll call. London Gatwick is one of the airline’s largest ‘non-base’ airports with 52 weekly flights, but serves the London mega-market where it already has a presence at London Stansted (its biggest base). Likewise Paris Orly, is a market Ryanair has served for years at ‘nearby’ Beauvais, an old-school Ryanair airport which is a mere 81km north of the Eiffel Tower. Paris Beauvais is also its largest non-base operation with 219 weekly flights, but no based aircraft.

Ryanair’s CCO David O’Brien

Ryanair’s CCO David O’Brien being interrogated by’s diminutive Amy Hanna, apparently in some sort of storeroom in one of London’s finest hotels. Is that a list of three new 2015 bases in his large workmanlike hands? Does it include’s suggestions of Amsterdam, London Gatwick and Paris Orly? If you think it should be your ‘primary’ European airport – then let us know.

Which airports would be most hungry for Ryanair?

One of the data elves had suggested that there should be a ‘hunger for 2015 growth’ factor applied to our top 10. This metric looks at how all the airports on the list have performed in 2014 (January to August vs. 2013), and assumes those airports with the least growth would be most open to Ryanair’s advances (and demands). Those that have grown the least are Vienna (3.0%), Paris Orly (3.2%) and Düsseldorf (3.6%) – none of those growth figures are in any way bad, so no airport in the sample should be desperately hungry – especially not the best performers: Stockholm Arlanda (10%), Hamburg (8.2%) and London Gatwick (7.5%).

For those airports scared of ‘doing deals’ with Ryanair, for fear of the EU coming knocking on their doors late at night, O’Brien is able to give some comfort: “The EU have [last week] confirmed the legitimacy and value of what Ryanair has to offer European families, business, tourism and the wider economy, while the Commission’s findings also show that it is airlines such as Lufthansa and its subsidiaries who are finding it difficult to come to terms with the new realities.”

Other potential bases (at already-served airports)

So, other than the ‘primary’ airports, there are still many other non-base existing operations and completely unserved cities across Europe which could now be on its radar. Equally, while in the past easyJet and Ryanair have tended to avoid head-to-head competition when it comes to opening bases, the New Ryanair’s strategy of chasing business travellers will see operations overlapping a lot more. Among the favourites discussed in the office this week were: Fuerteventura (43 weekly flights), Berlin Schönefeld (41), Bucharest (18), Tallinn (15), Prague (12), Nice (9).

Unserved airports which may become destinations

As Mr O’Brien now says “every other airport is now on the table” we also thought we should provide a list of airports where New Ryanair is currently non-existent, but which could become a destination for some of its shiny new 737-800s next year: Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich, Larnaca, Geneva, Helsinki, Sofia, Lyon and Naples were the analysts’ favourites.

Invitation to tender: New Ryanair’s next base/destination

If your airport is not listed above but you are interested in becoming one of Ryanair’s ‘primary’ airport bases (or ‘other’ airports) for 2015, we are happy to receive your 200-word tenders or bids and we will forward them onto David O’Brien at New Ryanair on your behalf. Illegal cash bribes should be sent to our PayPal account referenced “ Jedward Appreciation Society.”


  1. I’m sceptical for now that AMS will make an early appearance as a base, easier opportunities elsewhere for Ryanair I believe…but ready to be proved wrong! Also a problem with Paris Orly-its a slot constrained airport with an environmental cap.

    • Marc Watkins says:

      Hi John – just our best guesses based on the data and nothing else. Also to stimulate debate and to highlight to Europe’s airports that the door is open in Dublin to almost everyone!!

  2. Martin Knight says:

    Surprised to see that Ryanair hasn’t yet tried anything from Dresden (DRS). CityJet are going to be pulling out of their daily service from LCY soon. It is prime Ryanair territory, a service to STN or LTN 4 times a week or so would provide a vital link to the city.

  3. G Ward says:

    The UK will have a floating airport without any planes for a couple of years.
    The new aircraft carrier could be floated to whereever you’d like it.

    Ryanair might even be able get a bit closer to the destination city than usual!
    And when you’re tired of one destination, why close-down the base when you can just move it?
    Edinburgh, Rosyth would be a good starting point, shifting to Southampton, Portsmouth in a year or so.
    However, most passengers would probably consider Buenos Aires, Port Stanley a bit of a stretch.

    Applications to Mr D Cameron.

  4. Patrick says:

    Cough… Orly… slot constraints… cough cough…

    • Marc Watkins says:

      You need to get something for that nasty cold you have Patrick!! We understand that a portfolio of workable slots at any of these ‘primary’ airports would be hard to come by…but clearly FR are playing a new game now…and they do have a reputation for being ‘persuasive’ when it comes to negotiations. People have been saying for years that LHR is full, yet slots seem to be found (or traded) for new entrants/services every year.

    • John Strickland says:

      Patrick/Mark Better take the linctus, of course I am talking officially but on anything else I couldnt possibly comment…

  5. Shootingstars says:

    Orly will never be a base for Ryanair but potentially for sure a destination. None of the french airports are “official” bases for certain reasons… Beauvais is very busy but not a base.

  6. Philomena Saltali says:

    Ryan Air should give Turkish Airlines a run for their money and open a base in Antalya, Turkey. There are no all year round direct flights to Antalya from Ireland. It’s a long unnecessary journey from Dublin to Istanbul to Antalya. Thousands of Irish people have holiday homes in Turkey and are taking this route offered only by Turkish Airlines. I’m no expert in aviation but is this not a viable base/route for Ryan Air to give some serious consideration to?

    • kate says:

      I think Antalya is a fantastic idea as it is so difficult to get to Ireland from the Antalya area, the journey takes at least 10 hrs via Istanbul, direct flight 4.5 hrs, but what about the new smaller aiport Alanya Gazipasa ?? landing charges are much lower and it is the center of the mediterranean area, Ryan Air check out this route it is a winner for you !!! I am from Ireland living in Alanya and know that a lot off tourists have stopped coming here due to no direct flights.

  7. Marek says:

    There is one capital city in EU totally underserved with 5th highest GDP in EU and is missing in your list. Can you find it?

  8. fdf says:

    We need a Paris Tempere asap please or Orly Vantaa

  9. Wim Lepelaars says:

    I wonder whether Ryanair has any plans to increase their capacity at Eindhoven Airport. It’s a booming place . 16% increase of the first 9 months compared to 2013… 3.4 million passengers which is 425.000 more compared to first 9 months in 2013

  10. Adam Simmons says:

    I’m not sure how the Israel/EU Open Skies agreement is working (I know it’s gradual rather than “big bang”) but I believe that RYR is the only European LCC not to fly to Tel Aviv apart from Transavia (EZY, NAX, Vueling, Germanwings and Wizz all do). Will RYR be allowed to fly to TLV next year, I wonder?

  11. ioannis says:

    I would like to see Ryanair in Heraklion airport,Greece because i think is the second busiest airport in greece of 2013 and also now the domestic routes are in the aegean airlines monopoly.Also I think is one of the 10 most visited summer mediterenean airport in europe.I hope to transer my message in Mr David O’Brien to make it true as soon as possible.
    Thank you!

  12. Marius says:

    I think that Bucharest/OTP will be one of the new Ryanair bases in 2015. The flights started recently to DUB, STN and the soon to begin routes to CRL and MAD are doing well, and there are reports about Ryanair recruiting cabin crew in Bucharest. I think it makes sense, as it’s cheaper to employ cabin crew from Romania for these flights. Routes that are not served or under served with good potential for Ryanair are Hamburg, Lisbon, Manchester (but both Liverpool and Doncaster Sheffield are operated), Hahn.

    PS – Do you have any info about the new Easyjet routes from OPO and AMS?

  13. Dax says:

    Vienna? or do you mean closest Bratislava

  14. Marius says:

    Confirmed that Bucharest/OTP will be a base next year (most likely starting S15). Press conference at OTP airport – Kenny Jacobs.

  15. ami says:

    We need more cheap flights from Finland and from other cities also in Finland.

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