Ryanair, the popular low cost airline in Europe, has announced its 2018 winter calendar for
Spain, which includes more than 500 routes in total, 29 new connections and an increase in
frequency in 35 of the routes that it already operates. With all this, the company expects to
transport more than 41.5 million passengers this year in 26 Spanish airports, which means a
9 percent increase in operations in Spain and 31,500 jobs.
Flights will run from Valencia to Bourgogne (France), Cagliari and Palermo in Sicily (Italy),
Fez and Tangiers (Morocco), and Bristol (UK), and four times weekly to Valletta (Malta)
New routes will open from Palma de Mallorca to Milan, Bergamo and Rome Ciampino
(Italy) and Düsseldorf Weeze (Germany); from Tenerife South to Milan Malpensa, and
Gran Canaria to Venice Treviso.
Alicante flights will now include routes to Bologna (Italy), Gdansk (Poland) and Newquay in
Cornwall (UK), and an additional connection will run from Santander, Cantabria to
Sevilla airport will get the most new routes – 13 in total – with flights between two and
three times a week to Bristol, Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), Cagliari and Catania (Siciliy),
Valletta, Nantes (France), Oporto (Portugal), Tangiers and Rabat (Morocco), Venice
Treviso, Luxembourg, and national connections to Alicante and the island of
Starting next month, customers in Spain will be able to make their advance reservations to
travel until March 2019, with even cheaper prices and enjoying the latest improvements to
the "Always Improving" program, which includes:
• The reduction in the price and increase in the allowed size of the checked luggage – a
suitcase of 20 kg for €25.
• Connecting flights in Rome, Milan and Porto – new airports will be added soon.
• Ryanair Rooms with a 10 percent Travel Credit.
• Ryanair Transfers – more options for transfers with a new partner, Car Trawler.
• Promise of Punctuality – the company is committed to maintaining the rate of punctuality
of its flights by 90 percent.
• Lowest Price Promise – if a customer finds a lower rate, the difference plus €5 will be
refunded to your My Ryanair account.
Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, said today in Madrid: "We are delighted to announce our
2018 winter calendar for Spain, which includes 29 new routes (more than 500 in total) and
an increase in frequencies in 35 existing routes . With all this, we expect to transport 41.5
million passengers a year in Spanish airports, which represents a 9 percent growth in the
country. Our customers in Spain can book their flights for next winter starting next month,
and still enjoy our low prices, so there has never been a better time to book a flight with
To celebrate the announcement of our 2018 winter program for Spain, we have launched a
range of seats from just € 19.99 to travel between March and May through
He has also assured that the 20 percent pay rise offered to the carrier's 800 pilots will not
result in any increases in flight prices, even though it will mean a further €100 million in
overheads for the group over the next 12 months.
Instead of passing the cost onto the customer, O'Leary assures that the extra payout will
simply mean 'reduced profits' for Ryanair.
He has urged Spain-basaed pilots' union SEPLA 'not to delay things any further' in terms of
voting for the 20 percent pay increase and for them to reach an agreement to avoid
SEPLA should allow pilots to vote favourably if they wish to, O'Leary insists.
Although he has famously stated that he does not recognise SEPLA as a binding union, this
is 'a separate issue' to the salary increase negotiations, he argues.
RYANAIR PUBLISHES LIST OF FLIGHTS TO BE CANCELLED UP TO END OF OCTOBER OVER 98% OF RYANAIR CUSTOMERS WILL BE UNAFFECTED
Ryanair today confirmed that it has published the full list of flight cancellations (now less than 50 per day) between Thurs 21st Sept. to Tues 31st Oct. next. These cancellations have been allocated where possible, to Ryanair’s bigger base airports, and routes with multiple daily frequencies so that Ryanair can offer these disrupted customers the maximum number of alternate flights and routes in order tominimise inconvenience to them.
The full list of these flight cancellations (from Thurs 21st to Thurs Oct 31st) will appear on the Ryanair.com website later today, and customers affected by these cancellations will be emailed with offers of alternative flights or full refunds, and details of their EU261 compensation entitlement.
The airports where one line of flying will be removed for the next 6 weeks are as follows, (these airports have been selected because of the high frequency of flights Ryanair operates to/from these airports where customers can be offered the most accommodating options):
1 of 12 lines of flights
1 of 13 lines of flights
1 of 23 lines of flights
1 of 4 lines of flights
2 of 41 lines of flights
1 of 13 lines of flights
1 of 14 lines of flights
1 of 8 lines of flights
1 of 3 lines of flights
While Ryanair sincerely regrets and apologises for these cancellations, it pointed out that they will affect less than 2% of all customers over the next 6 weeks, and the majority of these passengers will be offered alternative flights on the same or next day. For those passengers who cannot, or do not wish to take the alternative flights offered they will receive a full refund and their EU261 compensation.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said;
“While over 98% of our customers will not be affected by these cancellations over the next 6 weeks, we apologise unreservedly to those customers whose travel will be disrupted, and assure them that we have done our utmost to try to ensure that we can re-accommodate most of them on alternative flights on the same or next day.
Ryanair is not short of pilots – we were able to fully crew our peak summer schedule in June, July and August – but we have messed up the allocation of annual leave to pilots in Sept and Oct because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a 9 month period from April to December. This issue will not recur in 2018 as Ryanair goes back onto a 12 month calendar leave year from 1st Jan to 31st December 2018.
This is a mess of our own making. I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend. We have only taken this decision to cancel this small proportion of our 2,500 daily flights so that we can provide extra standby cover and protect the punctuality of the 98% of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations.”
Ryanair has followed through on previous threats and is set to scrap the two on board bag policy, effective from November 1st. Passengers will have to pay five pounds for priority boarding in order to carry a cabin bag on board. The airline is attempting to reduce delays during boarding, caused due to a shortage of overhead cabin space.
Despite widespread condemnation, the airline will still allow passengers their 10kg ‘handluggage’ allowance but they must check the bag at the desk in order that it is placed in the hold. Passengers can choose to pay for priority boarding and take the bag onboard, or leave the bigger bag in the old and carry on a smaller bag.
The airline is also lowering the fees for checked luggage – a move that is said will cost the airline €50m a year. They will also increase the weight allowance in order to encourage more passengers to use the checked luggage service.
Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer, said the changes to its baggage policy still mean passengers will be able to travel with two bags for free, but under the current rules too many passengers were taking two bags on board busy flights, resulting in insufficient overhead space and causing delays.
Jacobs said that on a typically busy flight, about 186 seats of a total of 189 will be occupied, with space for about 90 bags in the overhead lockers. But some people were bending the rules by bringing on board a wheelie bag and a large rucksack that will not fit underneath the seat.
“We’re making these changes because our flights are so much busier,” he explained. “A number of people will have two very large bags, taking up someone else’s space. They’ll hope they’ll get away with it and generally they have, but we don’t want to go back to policing bags at the gate.”
“We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag – their wheelie bag must be placed in the hold, free of charge at the boarding gate – this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 carry-on bags.”
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is planning to capitalise on Spain’s tourism bonanza by opening up new routes from the country where it is already the market leader. As of February, the carrier plans to launch flights from Madrid to the Italian city of Bari, and to Glasgow and Prague, while Barcelona is expected to see new services to Krakow, Luxembourg, Prague and Venice.
At the same time, the airline will extend its winter flight schedule for both Madrid and the Catalan capital and boost the number of flights on a total of 12 existing routes from the two cities.
Under the plans, Ryanair forecasts it will carry 6.7 million people a year out of Madrid, or 12 percent more than current capacity, while the predicted rise in passenger numbers from Barcelona is 10 percent to 7.1 million.
The company headed by Michael O’Leary built on its position as the biggest airline in Spain in 2016, carrying 34.7 million passengers, a number it hopes will grow to 38 million this year, according to the carrier’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs.
The executive said Ryanair would pass savings on to customers in the wake of a Spanish government move to reduce airport taxes by 11 percent until 2021. The average ticket price for Ryanair flights in 2016 was €46 but this is expected to come down to €41 at the end of March. That’s against an average of €151 across all other airlines, according to estimates made by the Irish carrier.
Jacobs said the airline would continue to focus on short- and medium-haul flights in Europe with plans to add 220 new planes to its current fleet by 2024, but he noted that Ryanair was also looking at cooperating with IAG and Norwegian on long-haul flights.
Ryanair has advised passengers that if they fail to comply with new more flexible cabin baggage rules, tougher restrictions could once again come into force. Currently passengers on the airline can bring one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kilograms with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus one small bag up to 35cm x 20cm x 20cm on board the aircraft.
But Ryanair’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs said many passengers had abused the system over the summer by trying to bring large pieces of luggage on board, especially backpacks. This delays flights and puts the airline’s punctuality record at risk, he said.
While Jacobs said the airline had improved its image with its ‘Always Getting Better’ program, he said staff had been told to be especially vigilant when it comes to cabin baggage weighing over 10 kilograms and to ensure the second item of baggage is not oversize.