Airline planning expansion at Cork and Dublin

Ryanair is hoping to conclude negotiations regarding the expansion of its services at Cork and Dublin airports within the next couple of weeks.

Last month, the airline said it would increase its traffic through Irish airports by at least one million passengers per year, in direct response to the Government abolishing the controversial €3 consumer travel tax in the budget.

In the last couple of weeks, it has unveiled three new routes at Ireland West/ Knock Airport and eight new routes at Shannon. A mix of new routes and expanded existing ones are expected to be unveiled at both Dublin and Cork in the coming weeks.

In its first-half commentary yesterday, Ryanair said that the new routes and bases it unveiled this summer performed well (albeit at weaker yields) with high-cost competitor airlines cutting capacity in major markets such as France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy continuing to create growth opportunities for the Dublin-based carrier.

The airline also said that it will introduce full allocated seating on its fleet from the beginning of next February — in essence doing away with the free-for-all which still largely exists on its planes at boarding time. Passengers will pay €5, however, to pick their own seats when checking in online.

Despite yesterday’s profit warning, Ryanair said its lowering expectations for its full-year profitability is symptomatic of a softening marketplace; adding that it still retains one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry and is 90% hedged on its fuel needs for its current financial year.

As part of its ongoing €1bn return to shareholders by the end of Mar 2015, another €150m will be returned.


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