Europe’s largest carrier Ryanair has revealed plans to expand its activities from its home airport in Dublin in winter 2017/2018 and summer 2018, but the airline is a long way from the small operator that first launched flights there over 30 years ago. The pre-low cost carrier launch of the Dublin – London Luton route back in 1986 ended the duopoly of Aer Lingus and British Airways and represented the first steps on a journey that saw it overtake Lufthansa Group as Europe’s largest airline by passengers in 2016.
The latest growth from Dublin will see Ryanair operate a new double daily service to Munich and a new daily Stuttgart route from winter 2017. It will extend its five-time weekly winter service to Naples into the summer and will add a new twice weekly route to Paphos in Cyprus and Marrakech in Morocco from March 2018. This will expand the Ryanair network from Dublin to 90 routes and firmly position the Irish capital as one of the most significant markets in its expanding network.
But what are the main markets in the Ryanair network and where is the low cost carrier growing the fastest? Well, The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG data shows that Dublin is the second largest point in the Ryanair network behind London Stansted and accounts for 5.0% of its schedule capacity this summer, versus 8.2% for the leader. However, this summer it was the only example within Ryanair’s ten largest markets to see a reduction in capacity
Ryanair is the largest carrier by capacity from the Republic of Ireland, accounting for 39.7% of the departure capacity this summer. Our analysis shows that alongside its ‘home’ Irish market, Ryanair is the largest carrier by departure capacity in Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Spain. It is the second largest carrier by departure seats (within and from) in Belgium, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal; the third largest carrier in Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece and the United Kingdom; and fourth largest in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden.
Looking ahead into the forthcoming winter 2017/2018 programme and Ryanair will boost capacity 11.0% versus winter 2016/2017, based on current published schedules. This is almost double the season-on-season growth rate recorded in 2016/2017 (versus 2015/2016) and the fourth fastest year-on-year rate this decade. Over the past ten years Ryanair has almost doubled its winter inventory boosting network capacity from 25.87 million seats in winter 2007/2008 to over 50.75 million for the forthcoming season.
The largest growth will be seen in Israel (+510.9%) as Ryanair boosts its activities in its third winter period in the country. A significant offering will also be seen in the Czech Republic (+84.2%) and Montenegro (+35.4%), while capacity will be boosted by more than a quarter in the larger established markets of Germany (+25.8%), Poland (+26.0%) and Sweden (+25.6%). Its offering in Portugal (+19.5%), Morocco (+20.4%) and Hungary (+23.4%) will also be up by around a fifth.