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Ryanair Announces Eight New Routes From Shannon Airport; Signs License Agreement With Optifly; Seeking Lower Airport Charges; To Close Its London Southend Airport Base

Published on Aug 9 2021 12:37 PM in General Industry tagged: Trending Posts / Ryanair / Dublin Airport / Cork Airport / DAA / Shannon Airport / London Southend Airport / Shannon Group / Esken / Optifly

Ryanair Announces Eight New Routes From Shannon Airport; Signs License Agreement With Optifly; Seeking Lower Airport Charges; To Close Its London Southend Airport Base

Ryanair has announced a $100 million investment in Shannon Airport that will result in the airline basing a second aircraft at Shannon from the winter of 2021 and launching eight new routes from the a...

Ryanair has announced a $100 million investment in Shannon Airport that will result in the airline basing a second aircraft at Shannon from the winter of 2021 and launching eight new routes from the airport.

The new routes will operate to Corfu, Gran Canaria, Birmingham, Budapest, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, London Luton and Turin.

In a statement published on Ryanair's website, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said, "We are delighted to announce our expansion plans for Shannon with the restoration of its two-aircraft base and eight new routes to exciting destinations including Corfu, Gran Canaria, Budapest, Fuerteventura and more. As vaccination rollout programmes continue in the coming months, air traffic is set to return to pre-pandemic levels and we are delighted to announce extra flights from Shannon across Europe, connecting a total of 34 destinations."

Wilson added, "Ryanair has worked closely with Shannon Airport, which has seen the restoration of its two aircraft base, traffic, connectivity and jobs".

Meanwhile, in a statement published on Shannon Airport's website, the CEO of Shannon Airport operator Shannon Group, Mary Considine said, "We are delighted with today's announcement by Ryanair. It is another important step on our road to recovery. Restoring its second based aircraft here at Shannon demonstrates Ryanair's continued commitment to our airport. The confirmation of 18 routes from Shannon for winter including exciting new destinations such as Budapest and Turin, is very positive news for the airport and for this region after what has been a very difficult period for the aviation industry.

"There is intense competition globally for air services as countries try to recover from the virtual closing down of international travel. Recovery from the devastation caused by the pandemic will take time, with aviation analysts predicting that it will take a number of years for passenger numbers to recover to anything like 2019 levels. As we work to rebuild our air services, I am proud of our team who have worked closely with Ryanair to secure these latest Winter air services to London Luton, Budapest, Fuerteventura, Edinburgh, Turin and Birmingham, for the people of our region to enjoy. In addition, our existing services to London Stansted, London Gatwick, Manchester, Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw, Kaunas, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Malaga, Alicante and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas), will continue to operate throughout the winter.

"When people are ready to travel, our airport staff are ready to welcome them back. We want our passengers to experience that first flight delight which was evident this week with the inaugural Corfu service.  The excitement expressed by passengers heading off on their first overseas trip in quite a while has given our airport employees a real boost as they begin to return to doing what they do best, which is to look after our passengers and make their experience at the airport enjoyable, memorable and easy."

License Agreement With Optifly

Ryanair has also announced that it has signed a license agreement with Optifly, which is a supplier of next generation schedule optimisation software.

After a trial phase during 2021, Ryanair is planning to roll out Optifly's software across its fleet.

Ryanair stated on its website, "Optifly's scheduling software will support the development of Ryanair's network as it takes delivery of 210 'gamechanger' Boeing 8-200 aircraft and grows traffic to 200m passengers p.a. over the next five years. The increase in Ryanair's fleet to 600 aircraft by FY26, will mean the opening of even more bases and new routes which Optifly's scheduling software will support."

In a statement published on Ryanair's website, Ryanair director of commercial Jason McGuinness said, "We are excited about the potential offered by Optifly's scheduling software to support Ryanair's traffic growth to 200 million passengers p.a. by 2026."

In a statement also published on Ryanair's website, Optifly CEO Steven Kearney said, "We are delighted to be partnering with Ryanair and are looking forward to helping them improve on their industry leading sectors per aircraft while supporting traffic growth to 200 million passengers across their expanding network."

Seeking Lower Airport Charges

In other Ryanair news, as reported by The Irish Times, Wilson has said that Dublin and Cork airports face a loss of traffic if the government does not aid both in cutting charges to lure airlines back, and that the government, as Dublin and Cork airport operator DAA's shareholder, should fund incentives at both airports that would give airlines long-term certainty on charges.

A DAA spokesperson reportedly responded by saying that the company launched its biggest ever airport charges discount scheme in December of 2020 and refined it in July to coincide with the resumption of international travel from Ireland.

The Irish Times quotes the spokesperson as saying, "We are working closely with our airline customers to rebuild traffic at Dublin and Cork airports, and our generous scheme gives back €50 million worth of airport charges to airlines operating at both airports.

"So it is absolutely not true to suggest there is no traffic recovery scheme at DAA's airports."

London Southend Base Closure

Additionally, as reported by The Irish Independent, Ryanair will close its base at London Southend Airport on November 1.

London Southend Airport is owned by listed UK group Esken, which also owned Stobart Air before it ceased trading.

The Irish Independent quotes Esken as saying in a statement to the stock market, "Ryanair signed a five-year agreement to base three aircraft at London Southend Airport in 2018 and commenced operations 1 April 2019.

"The airline has had two aircraft in operation since 2020, following a reduction driven by the pandemic. However, Ryanair's performance at London Southend Airport has been further affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has now resulted in this decision."

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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