Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, will be opening its newest base at Maastricht, in the Netherlands, in December 2012.
The airline is investing around $70 million to improve facilities at the privately owned Maastricht Airport and, once operational, it will be providing around 450 jobs to the local economy.
The airline deputy chief executive, Michael Cawley, said, ‘Ryanair is delighted to announce Maastricht as our 51st base and unveil 3 new routes (14 in total) – to/from Dublin, London Stansted and Venice Treviso – beginning in December, as part of our winter schedule which go on sale on www.ryanair.com tomorrow.
Dutch consumers/visitors can now beat the recession and escape KLM’s high fares and fuel surcharging by switching to Ryanair’s lowest fares and our no fuel surcharge guarantee from Maastricht to 14 exciting European winter destinations, including Milan, Barcelona and Pisa, amongst others. Ryanair’s 450,000 passengers p.a. (per annum) will sustain up to 450 jobs in Maastricht.’
The announcement comes at a time when the airline is facing criticism for charging UK passengers more as the pound strengthens against a weak Euro.
The airline charges for passengers that book flights in the UK include a ‘web check-in fee’ and an ‘admin fee’, payable by all passengers except by passengers who carry a Ryanair Cash Passport. While British travellers are paying £12 per person per return flight for the first fee, and £6 per person for the second fee, passengers making reservations from outside Britain pay €12 and €6, equivalent to £9.60 and £4.80.