Low-cost carriers Ryanair and Easyjet are both bucking the trend for capacity cuts, with the announcement of further fleet and route expansion in 2010.
Six new Airbus A319s will increase Easyjet’s fleet to 185 aircraft, enabling the carrier to operate a total of 449 routes next year, including three new routes from UK airports. Meanwhile Ryanair’s plans include the extension of its services to and from Trapani, Sicily with the opening of 13 new routes and the addition of two new aircraft, doubling their fleet based on the island.
Easyjet’s ten new routes are being introduced from February 8, 2010 and include flights from Liverpool to Malta, London Stansted to Cagliari in Sardinia, and Manchester to the Finnish capital Helsinki.
Ryanair estimates that its move will deliver an extra two million passengers per year to the airport. Services begin in March 2010, with destinations including Genoa, Krakow and Gothenburg. A number of current flights from Sicily will benefit from increased frequency, including Brussels, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.
Report by Alison Rowley