Ryanair sees 15+ aircraft at Gatwick; “30 Minutes With Ryanair’s route chief” video now available

Thank you to Billund Airport, Teesside International Airport, and Shannon Airport for supporting this webinar and thanks also to Niall O’Connor for taking the time out of his busy schedule just days before the big Ryanair-re-start.

anna.aero’s second “30 Minutes With” webinar was held on 25 June with Ryanair’s Route Development Director – with over 1,000 registered for it.

As with all our webinars, it was intentionally fast-paced with answers you cannot find on Google or Wiki.

Niall O’Connor, Ryanair’s route development chief, said that he could see Gatwick becoming a base with  15+ aircraft, depending on slot availability and pricing.  (Gatwick is a regulated airport for pricing.) This will be an exciting discussion for Gatwick’s incoming CCO, Jonathan Pollard, who starts in September.

What’s O’Connor’s thoughts about Ryanair’s growth in Scandinavia, Germany, and France?  What’s the future with Lauda and Vienna?  Does Ryanair care about fancy new route presentations from airports?

Quickly find answers to these questions – and many more – from our video and handy find-the-question table, below.

Using our table, below, fast-forward to questions of specific interest to you. 

Time Interview Question
00:06:44 1.    What are the dynamic things you expect from an airport to get your business – other than low charges and financial support. What are the really dynamic things?
00:07:20 2.    In the last calendar year Ryanair added a net 257 routes. (Cutting 135 and launching 392). If you had 1,000 routes to look at, what is going to put a new-route proposition at the top of your pile?
00:08:27 3.    It can be obvious quickly how a route is performing and whether it is likely to improve further. How long does Ryanair give a new route to ‘work’?  
  Country and region questions
00:09:42 4.    Scandinavia. Ryanair previously said that Scandinavia was going to be key for growth, especially given Norwegian’s rocky condition. Now, just 12 places are served, with fewer seats than in 2013. What is Scandinavia doing wrong? Is it unions, flight-shaming… what is it?
00:11:00 5.    Germany. What can Germany and German airports do to help you – aside from not giving Lufthansa €9 billion! You already had 500,000 fewer seats and base cuts last year – is Germany being competitive enough to bounce back in Ryanair’s favour? 
00:13:24 6.    France. France has been a standout country for Ryanair growth, with 2.3 million more seats last year from new bases at Bordeaux, Marseille, and Toulouse. Does Ryanair see more French bases? 
00:14:33 7.    Go East!? 2019 marked another eastwards push, with Georgia joining its network.  This year, Ryanair went to Armenia. Where’s next in the East? 
00:15:29 8.    North Africa and the Middle East. Ryanair now serves 15 destinations in North Africa and the Middle East – what would you say to airports or governments in these regions to get Ryanair’s business?  
  Airport and base questions
00:17:16 9.    Bases that must try harder: You have closed a net half-dozen bases in the past two years. Are more at risk from underperformance? If so – what should they do about it? 
00:18:42 10. Primary and Secondary airports: Ryanair now serves many primary airports near secondary airports: Hahn/Frankfurt, Ciampino/Fiumicino, and Charleroi/Brussels, etc. Often, it is now the primary airport that is growing. What’s going on here?
00:20:12 11. Quick question about Lelystad: Do you expect it to be a true secondary airport for Amsterdam and therefore potentially very interesting?
00:21:33 12. Vienna was a fast-growing base for Lauda. Now it has closed. But being optimistic and positive, will many Vienna routes still stay on with non-based aircraft?
00:22:30 13. Our local airport is Gatwick – 2km from this office. With BA reducing Gatwick and Wizz Air securing 196 slots there for winter 2020, what’s Ryanair’s potential at Gatwick?
  Airport partnership questions
00:23:33 14. Another brand-new airport question: When I was at Luton Ryanair just wanted an Excel file of catchment leakage data. Instead of fancy new route presentations, what raw data are you after to make your mind up about what potential routes makes sense? 
  General questions
00:24:58 15. Surely it makes sense that every airport you serve should be connected to multiple points as feasible. Yet you have quite a few airports where you just have one or two routes, such as Genoa with two and Cluj with one.  Why is that? (And should these airports be worried?)
00:25:53 16. Experimental routes: In the past 10 years anna.aero has interviewed Bernard Berger, Ken O’Toole, and Kate Sherry. All of them talked about ‘experimental routes’ – routes nobody had flown before with no historic data that Ryanair just tried to see if they worked. Does this still happen? 
00:27:34 17. Finally, what one airport stands out – across your very large network – for amazing, above-and-beyond marketing of Ryanair routes? 
  Questions from the audience
00:28:51 Krunoslav Perić, Marketing Manager, Osijek Airport
Could Osijek Airport become Ryanair’s partner since we are located between 3 Wizz Air bases (BUD, TZL, BEG) and car drive distance from Zagreb, Belgrade and Budapest is less than 150 minutes?
00:29:29 Luis Taborda, Key Account Officer of Low Cost Airlines and Tour Operators, ANA
Which targets markets do you think will restart the quickest? Ethnic, shorter sectors, tourism…?
00:30:29 Luis Taborda, Key Account Officer of Low Cost Airlines and Tour Operators, ANA
Which traffic recovery proposals you are receiving from countries and airports around Europe as we know you allocate on cost. Are you able to share some insights on this? 
00:31:23 Adam Herivel, Revenue Management Executive, TUI UK&I
Considering airports will have seen a significant decline in passengers with the pandemic and travel restrictions, have you seen any new airports coming to Ryanair to see if you are interested in starting operations? Or has it it primarily been Ryanair asking the airports?
00:32:30 Oana Raducanoiu, Marketing and Public Relations, Craiova Airport
Do you intend to develop the operations in Romania? If so, do you have any plans to relaunch Craiova airport as well? – We would like to remind you that we are willing to offer very low operating rates. 
00:33:00 Cindy Hugon-Duprat, Marketing Manager, Clermont-Ferrand Airport
Can you please give an insight on your fleet allocation ? 
00:33:35 Declan Power, Head of Aviation Development, Shannon Airport
Did he ever consider cancelling the Kerry Luton flight just to prevent Peter Bellew getting to work at Easyjet?
00:34:14 Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent, The Independent
Wizz has announced 150 new routes and 7 new bases and appears to be mounting a major challenge on easyjet at Gatwick, in contrast Ryanair has less than a couple of dozen new routes, is Wizz behaving more like Ryanair than even Ryanair?


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