Although Ryanair will have a modest start at Frankfurt later next month by October it will be serving no fewer than 24 destinations. Others are set to follow in the future if all goes well.
At a press conference in Frankfurt this morning, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary outlined his plans which, initially, will see two B737s based at Frankfurt with a further five aircraft to follow by late October (which is the start of the winter timetable). In the long term Michael O’Leary indicated that his airline might base as many as 20 aircraft at Frankfurt.
Ryanair’s first batch of destinations from Frankfurt are aimed at the holiday market: Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma.
The good news for readers later this year is that services will include many business locations for routes which are amongst the most important [business routes] in Europe
Some destinations have yet to be revealed but Business Traveller can confirm that they will include three UK cities: London (Stansted), Manchester and Glasgow (Abbotsinch).
Although flights will operate once daily to Manchester and Glasgow the service will be twice daily to London Stansted which will make possible London-Frankfurt (or vice versa) day return trips.
Ryanair’s head of communications, Robin Kiely, said, “We are pleased to announce these routes starting in October as part of our growing UK winter 2017 schedule. These routes will go on sale later this week.”
Until now Ryanair has been serving far-out Hahn as its gateway to the city of Frankfurt.
But as we reported last November (see Online news, November 2), Ryanair has now taken the decision to enter Lufthansa’s “stronghold.” It will however retain a number of services at Hahn.
Previously Frankfurt was renowned as one of the costliest airports in Europe on account of its high ground handling fees and that is why all low-cost airlines (LCCs) stayed well clear.
But times are changing. It is the LCCs who are now driving the market and if Frankfurt wishes to expand it must encourage them.
Frankfurt is the main base for national airline Lufthansa who is unhappy with the arrival of Ryanair, Wizzair and possibly other LCCs in the future.
In response Lufthansa is saying it plans to operate Eurowings, its own budget subsidiary, out of Frankfurt in 2018.
The news was reported by Germany’s airliners.de earlier this month.
Ryanair has now moved into most of Europe’s main hub airports with the notable exceptions of London Heathrow, Munich and Paris CDG. Of these three it is likely that Munich (with whom Ryanair has already been in discussions) will be next.