WARSAW – Ryanair is returning to the Warsaw Chopin Airport after four years and will launch five new routes for the 2023 summer season. The airline has scheduled its inaugural flights for March 26. This announcement coincides with conflict with Modlin Airport in the background.
The Irish low-cost carrier will fly four times a week to Alicante and Palma de Mallorca. In addition to the Spanish routes, flights to Vienna, Austria, are scheduled at the same frequency, and three times a week will go to the Belgian port of Brussels-Charleroi.
The list of announced connections from Warsaw will be completed by flights to Cyprus’ Paphos, scheduled for just once a week.
“We are delighted to see Chopin return to Warsaw and open five new routes to exciting sunny destinations such as Alicante, Mallorca and Paphos, as well as favorite cities such as Brussels and Vienna,”
“It’s a shame, however, that this has to come at the expense of Warsaw-Modlin and the region,” explained Michal Kaczmarzyk, CEO of Buzz, Ryanair’s Polish subsidiary.
“For incomprehensible reasons, both the airport’s management and regional authorities are ignoring Ryanair and refusing to get involved in the development of Warsaw-Modlin Airport, unnecessarily risking the loss of jobs and connections in the region,” he concluded.
No base at WAW, only flights
An analysis of the Irish airline’s ticketing system indicates that Ryanair will not base any aircraft at Chopin Airport, and all flights will be operated by planes based at airports in countries that have been included in the Irish low-cost carrier’s offer for the time being.
In that case, flights to and from Warsaw will be operated by Ryanair DAC, an airline using Boeing 737-800 or 737-8200 aircraft, and its Austrian subsidiary, Lauda, which uses leased Airbus A320s.
Ryanair intends to perform the each turnaround at Warsaw airport in, classic for the Irish carrier, 25 minutes.
There will be 122 operations to and from Alicante, making 244 round-trip flights. There will be 186 flights to and from Brussels-Charleroi (93 operations), Palma de Mallorca 248 flights (124 operations), Paphos 62 flights (31 operations), Vienna 248 flights (124 operations).
In total, Ryanair, with the current schedule of the newly announced route network, will use 988 slots. The carrier will still have 966 takeoff and landing rights left from the allocated pool.
Conflict with Modlin Airport in the background
The launch of new routes from Chopin Airport, however, is linked to the reduction of flights from Modlin Airport. The expansion at Okęcie, however, comes at the expense of that airport.
The new routes are expected to strengthen Ryanair’s position in Poland, which has more than 35 percent market share.
“If Modlin Airport management and shareholders, including regional authorities, do not act, they will have to explain to residents in the future why they were not interested in developing the airport and the region.”
“Meanwhile, Ryanair will continue to develop its route network at those airports in Poland and Europe that care about increasing traffic and are able to guarantee low costs,” adds Kaczmarzyk.
Negotiations by both sides are not yielding the expected results, hence the decision of the low-cost airline from Ireland to continue the expansion of routes from other airports.
Will this unveiling of the conflict, affect the authorities of the airport near Warsaw?
According to a press release from the Irish airline, Ryanair generates three thousand jobs in the region, and offers a rich network of 430 flights a week on more than 50 routes from Modlin.
By not cooperating with the airline on further development, the airport and regional authorities are ignoring the risk of losing new routes (as well as existing connections) to neighbouring airports such as Warsaw Chopin Airport.