Ryanair to launch French bases at Bordeaux and Marseille in S19; anna.aero’s predictions prove correct

Ryanair, Bordeaux, Marseille

On 27 September, Ryanair announced that it will open bases at Bordeaux and Marseille in France from S19. The airline’s CCO David O’Brien (right) was on hand to mark the announcement. The airline last operated a base in France in 2011, which was also at Marseille. It will offer 41 destinations from Marseille in total in S19 and 24 from Bordeaux.

Although Ryanair will offer scheduled flights from 30 French airports over the course of S18, none of these are classed as operating bases. The Irish ULCC has not had a base in France since 2011. Back in January the airline indicated that this was set to change, with France very much in its sights for future expansion. At the time, anna.aero ran an analysis on the most likely French facilities that could soon be welcoming a Ryanair hub operation. On 27 September two of our predictions were proven to be correct when it was announced that Bordeaux and Marseille will become the airline’s latest European bases, with two aircraft to positioned at each airport. Here, we take a look at the ULCC’s current French operations and examine in more detail the new network additions.

New bases make top four in France

Paris Beauvais is Ryanair’s largest departure point in France in S18 with more than one million one-way seats available, but the ULCC’s two recently announced bases – Marseille and Bordeaux – both feature in the top four. Ryanair offered regular scheduled services to 30 different destinations from Marseille over the course of S18, including 26 international and four domestic links. In addition, OAG data shows two flights to Poitiers during June. The biggest route based on available seats was to London Stansted, which accounted for 10% of the airline’s summer capacity from Marseille. The largest domestic link was to Brest.

The Irish carrier provided scheduled seats to nine destinations from Bordeaux in S18, all of which are international. The largest route was Stansted, which accounted for 20% of the airline’s capacity from the Southern French facility this summer. It currently operates six weekly services to the London airport. All but one of these nine routes are currently available for S19. The connection to Cork is not currently on sale and is therefore not confirmed to return.

Ryanair, top French airports

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

16 new routes for Bordeaux in S19

Bordeaux will see 16 new routes from Ryanair in S19. Three of these – Fez, Marrakesh and Valencia – actually commence during the W18/19 schedule and then continue for the summer season. Four of the 16 new routes are to Moroccan destinations, while three are in Italy, and two are domestic French connections, including a daily link to the airline’s other new base in Marseille. Many of the new routes will be operated twice-weekly, with the highest frequency being seen on the Marseille link and the lowest on the Mykonos connection, which will be served once per week. Six of the new routes were already operated by other airlines during peak S18. Manchester was not served this summer, but easyJet will commence operations on this route during W18/19.

Launching From To Aircraft (WF) Peak summer competition (WF)
W18/19 Bordeaux (BOD) Fez (FEZ) B738 (2) Air Arabia Maroc (2)
Marrakesh (RAK) B738 (2) easyJet (3)
Valencia (VLC) B738 (2)  
S19 Bari (BRI) B738 (2)  
Cologne Bonn (CGN) B738 (3)  
Copenhagen (CPH) B738 (3)  
Dublin (DUB) B738 (2) Aer Lingus (9)
Krakow (KRK) B738 (2)  
Manchester (MAN) B738 (2)  
Marseille (MRS) B738 (7) HOP! (14), easyJet (7)
Mykonos (JMK) B738 (1)  
Nantes (NTE) B738 (4) Chalair (8)
Naples (NAP) B738 (2) Volotea (2)
Ouarzazate (OZZ) B738 (2)  
Tangier (TNG) B738 (2)  
Venice Treviso (TSF) B738 (3)  
Source: Ryanair and OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 31 July 2018. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Pascal Personne, Chairman of the Executive Board, Bordeaux Airport, said: “Ryanair’s decision to base two aircraft at Bordeaux Airport is excellent news for the airport and for our region. This new base will undeniably increase the attractiveness of New Aquitaine and represents the opportunity to develop a large number of new destinations. We have been actively working with Ryanair since 2009 and we believe that Ryanair’s potential for growth with the commercial power we know they have, is very important for Bordeaux and is a sign of a long-term commitment.”

11 new summer services for Marseille

Marseille will play host to 11 new Ryanair services for S19, although two of these – Bucharest and Budapest – will commence during the W18/19 programme and then continue on through next summer. Two of the 11 new routes are to Morocco, while another two serve Italian destinations. Nine of the new services will be operated twice-weekly, with only Bologna (three weekly) and Bordeax (daily) seeing higher frequencies. Five of the 11 routes were already operated by other carriers during peak S18.

Launching From To Aircraft (WF) Peak summer Competition (WF)
W18 Marseille (MRS) Bucharest (OTP) B738 (2)  
Budapest (BUD) B738 (2)  
S19 Agadir (AGA) B738 (2)  
Alicante (ALC) B738 (2) Volotea (3), Vueling (1)
Bologna (BLQ) B738 (3)  
Bordeaux (BOD) B738 (7) HOP! (14), easyJet (7)
Manchester (MAN) B738 (2) easyJet (2)
Naples (NAP) B738 (2) Volotea (2)
Ouarzazate (OZZ) B738 (2)  
Prague (PRG) B738 (2) Volotea (2)
Warsaw Modlin (WMI) B738 (2)  
Source: Ryanair and OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 31 July 2018. WF = Weekly frequencies.

Philippe Bernand, Chairman of the Executive Board, Marseille Airport, commented: “We are very pleased with Ryanair’s decision to accelerate its development in Marseille by opening a new base and offering 11 new destinations. It is an essential and historical partner of our airport, and more generally of our territory, from a tourist and economic point of view. “

“We are pleased to open two new French bases in Bordeaux and Marseille, as we base 4 aircraft and invest $400m at the airports,” said David O’Brien, CCO, Ryanair. “Our growth will deliver 1.1 million customers per year at Bordeaux Airport and 2.4 million customers at Marseille Airport, while creating 120 Ryanair jobs across both bases and supporting over 2,500 ancillary jobs in the regions.” 

What’s next?

There are no indications as to whether Ryanair plans to add to its two recently confirmed French bases any time soon. If it does, airports at the front of the queue would surely include Beauvais, or one of the other Paris hubs, while Toulouse could also be a contender, since it is already the third largest French facility for the ULCC in terms of available seats.

Ryanair’s route maps for Bordeaux and Marseille show their S18 networks in red and the planned new routes in black. The ULCC will offer 16 new summer routes from Bordeaux in S19 and 11 new services from Marseille. Its largest route from both airports in S18, based on available capacity, is London Stansted.


Comments are closed