Ryanair Growth at Edinburgh Base

The tailplane of a Ryanair Boeing 737
Photo Credit: Ryanair

LONDON – Ryanair has announced its Summer 2023 programme for its Edinburgh base in a move hailed by the airport as “a real show of faith in the market.”

The Dublin-based carrier’s announcement includes increased route frequencies, new routes and an additional based aircraft.

Scottish Summer Expansion

The six additional routes, starting in early March 2023, will take the operator’s destinations from the Scottish capital to a total of 69. The routes include both UK domestic routes and two popular European summer destinations:

  • Belfast
  • Bournemouth
  • Cornwall Newquay
  • London Stansted
  • Rhodes
  • Venice

The Summer 2023 programme also includes increased frequencies to 30 key destinations on its existing network across Europe.

These were announced to include Alicante, Barcelona, Brussels Charleroi, Milan and Shannon. In 2019, Edinburgh Airport’s most popular destinations included London Stansted (5th) and Belfast (9th).

In recent figures released by the Airport Authority, 2022 saw Edinburgh almost return to pre-COVID passenger levels with just over 11.2 million passengers using the airport compared to 14.7 million in 2019.

Ryanair predicts 4.7 million in passengers per annum with its growth plans, which could mean a significant share of the market.

Ryanair’s Dara Brady said: “As the UK’s no.1 airline for low fares and reliability, Ryanair is pleased to announce our new Edinburgh schedule for Summer 2023…offering Edinburgh customers/visitors even more choice for their summer holidays at the lowest fares in Europe.”

Brady continued: “Ryanair continues to deliver more traffic, connectivity, and lower fares than any other airline for the UK.”

Huge Investments

The additional based aircraft is expected to be one of Ryanair’s newer Boeing 737-8200 aircraft (marketed by Boeing as the 737-8 MAX).

The carrier, and airport, hailed its increased investment in their Scottish base and region. Recording the growth as an additional 100 million USD investment in Edinburgh Airport, this brings its total to 1.1 billion USD.

The carrier also stated the requirement for an additional 330 flight crew and cabin crew in Edinburgh.

Kate Sherry, the Aviation Director of Edinburgh Airport, said: “It is always our aim to offer as much choice as possible from Edinburgh and the announcement of this schedule comes as we continue to build towards a strong summer season at the airport.”

“This investment, which will also see an additional Ryanair aircraft based at EDI, is a real show of faith in the market – illustrating the growing demand for travel we’re seeing at Edinburgh.”

Ryanair’s Dara Brady further added: “However, if we are to continue to grow and to drive recovery and connectivity to the UK, Prime Minister Sunak must immediately scrap APD in full for all travel (not just domestic travel).”

“And provide incentives for airlines like Ryanair to stimulate growth and recovery for the UK and its regions.”

The UK Government announced the cut in Air Passenger Duty (APD – a tax added to passenger air tickets) from 13 GBP to 6.50 GBP on domestic routes.

Ryaniar’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, said at the time that the ADP cut was responsible for the expansion and added:

“The halving of APD on domestic flights from April 2023 has allowed Ryanair to add more domestic routes to our UK schedule for summer 2023.”

Fight for the Summer 23

Tipped by many travel experts to be a summer of incredible demand as Europe starts to return to pre-pandemic levels, the supply needs to rise to meet it.

There will be strong competition on focus summer routes, such as Spain and Greece, where Ryanair, easyJet and Jet2.com will be all vying for bookings from travellers in Scotland.

Ryanair launched a limited-time seat sale with fares from just £29.99 for travel between April 2023 and October 23 on bookings made by midnight 10 February 2023 to celebrate its Edinburgh Summer 2023 announcement.

A Ryanair jet waits for an easyJet aircraft to land.
Photo Credit: North West Transport Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
By Jack K Byrne 5 Min Read
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