November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Ryanair has agreed a 10-year deal with Stansted to increase its traffic at the Essex airport by 7 million passengers per year.
The no-frills carrier has been reducing its services from Stansted over the last seven years to 13.2 million passengers in 2012 – down from a peak of 15 million in 2007.
But now Ryanair has agreed to begin growing traffic again under a 10-year “growth agreement” with Stansted’s new owner Manchester Airport Group (MAG), which purchased the airport from BAA in February.
The deal will see Ryanair increase traffic to more than 20 million passengers per year over the next 10 years in return for lower airport charges and “more efficient facilities” at Stansted.
The agreement comes into force from April 2014 when Ryanair will add four more routes from Stansted to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat. The carrier will also base six extra aircraft at the airport from next summer – taking its total to 43.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary (pictured) said: “These are onerous growth objectives for Ryanair to meet over the next five to 10 years. It will reverse the decline seen over the last seven years under the mismanagement of the BAA monopoly.
“We will grow traffic by one million per year for about the first seven years of the agreement.”
O’Leary added that the growth at Stansted would account for around 25 per cent of Ryanair’s total expansion over the five years running to 2019.
From next summer, Ryanair will operate 120 routes from Stansted with more than 2,000 weekly flights, up from 1,800 this year.
O’Leary said this growth would initially come from moving aircraft from “high-cost airports” before it begins taking delivery of the first of its 175 new Boeing aircraft in late 2014.
Ken O’Toole, MAG’s chief commercial officer, said Stansted was the London airport with the most capacity to grow over the next few years.
“Stansted has capacity for up to 35 million passengers compared to 17 million passengers at the moment,” he said. “There is a lot of opportunity for growth – much more than any other airport in London.”
Ryanair has also agreed to help Stansted’s management to encourage long-haul airlines to use Stansted.
“We are meeting with long-haul airlines who operate out of Manchester and they have told us they did not hear from Stansted for seven years,” added O’Toole. “This shows how MAG’s ownership of Stansted is adding competition.”
O’Leary said that Ryanair would “actively work” with Stansted’s management to encourage long-haul carriers to use the airport.
He added that Ryanair would be “open to discussing” the possibility of allowing long-haul passengers to connect on to Ryanair services at Stansted.