European airport retailers and planners will doubtless shift their focus to this week’s release of Ryanair’s 2016 London summer schedule, which covers more than 150 routes and extra flights on 20 – equivalent to 22.8m passengers – an extra 1.4m compared with 2015.
This news comes at the same time that the world’s biggest scheduled international airline Ryanair has reported an unrivalled 10% increase in passenger numbers to 10.4m for August 2015 compared with the same month last year.
This represented an impressive 95% load factor (+2%) for the month, as the airline’s rolling annual 12-month traffic rose by 15% to 96.3m passengers for the year ending August.
In summary, the airline says its summer schedule from its main UK airport bases next year is as follows:
LONDON STANSTED: 37 based aircraft; 3 new routes to Milan Malpensa, Sofia and Verona; 129 routes in total; Extra flights on 18 routes (including Berlin, Cologne 3 x daily, Edinburgh 5 x daily, Glasgow 4 x daily); 1,200 weekly flights (5% growth); 20m customers p.a.
LONDON GATWICK: 5 routes in total (Dublin, Cork, Kaunas, Shannon and Seville); Extra flights to Dublin (6 x daily); 62 weekly flights (12% growth); 1m customers p.a.
LONDON LUTON: 4 based aircraft; 1 new route to Vilnius; 18 routes in total; Extra flights to Copenhagen (4 x daily); 123 weekly flights (13% growth); 1.8m customers p.a.
In the second year of its ‘Always Getting Better’ drive to improve its image (which was refreshed on March 3), the airline said: “Customers can next look forward to a new personalised website, with great new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’ and destination content (from October), as well as an enhanced insurance product (from October), new crew uniforms and improved inflight menus (both from November) and new cabin interiors (from January).”
Ryanair Spokesman Kenny Jacobs added: “After introducing allocated seating, a second free carry-on bag allowance, Family Extra and Business Plus services, and reducing our fees in Year 1, we’ve continued to roll out Year 2 of our AGB programme, which has included new native apps, reduced sports and airport fees and the launch of Ryanair Car Hire, which went live on Ryanair.com yesterday.
“Our 103m customers can look forward to further improvements in the coming months, including our ground breaking personalised website, with exciting new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’ and real customer destination reviews, and improved menus, new cabin crew uniforms and new cabin interiors on board, with more to come in Year 3, as we continue to offer so much more than just lowest fares.”
IATA reconfirmed Ryanair’s status as the world’s leading international scheduled airline back in June of this year with its latest World Airline Transport Statistics 2014 report showing Ryanair carried over 86.3m international passengers last year – 30m more than second-placed easyjet (56.3m) and almost 40m more than third-placed Lufthansa (48.2m).
The top airlines ranked by international passengers carried last year were as follows: (1) Ryanair with 86.3m; (2) easyJet 56.3m; (3) Lufthansa 48.2m; (4) Emirates 47.2m; (5) British Airways 35.3m; (6) Air France 31.6m; (7) Turkish Airlines 31.0m; (8) KLM 27.7m; (9) United Airlines 25.7m; (10) Delta Air Lines 24.2m.