Ryanair executive leaves following flight cancellation crisis

Michael Hickey, Ryanair’s chief operations officer, has quit his job with the Irish airline following the flight cancellation crisis that has overwhelmed the company.

The airline has announced that Hickey will leave his position at the end of the month, after 20,000 flights had to be cancelled due to a pilot scheduling error. The rostering problem caused 700,000 passengers to change their travel plans and will have repercussions on the airlines flights until March next year.

Hickey has been with Ryanair for around 30 years and the company’s head, Michael O’Leary, said that he will continue to have an association with it in an ‘advisory role’. In a statement O’Leary said, ‘Over the past 30 years, Mick Hickey has made an enormous contribution to Ryanair, especially the quality and safety of our engineering and operations functions. He will be a hard act to replace, which is why we are grateful he has agreed to continue in an advisory role to smooth the transition to a successor and to complete a number of large projects he is currently working on, including a multiyear engine maintenance contract and new hangar projects in Seville and Madrid.’

The crisis began in mid-September when the company announced that it would be cancelling 50 flights a day due to a problem with pilot holidays, with a further 18,000 flights cancelled at the end of the month.

In an effort to placate and retain pilots, O’Leary has also announced a EUR12,000 loyalty bonus for captains and half of that for first officers for the achievement of certain performance targets.

Ryanair commences new Glasgow-Frankfurt service

Ryanair, the Irish low-fares airline, has announced the launch of its new daily Glasgow service to Frankfurt, the first of its winter 2017 routes.

Ryanair’s Glasgow winter schedule includes 18 routes in total, with three new routes to Frankfurt, Krakow and Madrid. As part of the launch of its new Frankfurt route, Ryanair has released seats from Glasgow at prices starting from £14.99, for travel in September, October and November. The seats are only available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight Thursday, September 7.

Ryanair’s Lauren Hennessy said: ‘Winter is on the way and we’re pleased to launch our new Glasgow-Frankfurt service, with a daily service, the first of our winter 2017 routes. Glasgow customers and visitors can choose from 18 Glasgow routes in total this winter, including 3 new routes to Frankfurt, Krakow and Madrid.’

‘To celebrate, we are releasing seats on sale from just £14.99 for travel in September, October and November, which are available for booking until midnight Thursday (7 Sep). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com now and avoid missing out.’

Paul White, business development manager at Glasgow Airport, added: ‘The introduction of our first direct service to Frankfurt is great news for our passengers. Since setting up base at Glasgow Airport in October 2014, Ryanair has carried an astonishing three million passengers to date by continually responding to demand through the introduction of a number of new routes.’

‘So far this year, the airline has launched flights to Lisbon, Palanga, Valencia and Zadar and will introduce two further routes to Madrid and Krakow next month – taking the number of services operated by Ryanair to 23,’ White said, adding: ‘This daily service further strengthens Glasgow Airport’s European connectivity and adds yet another fantastic German city to our growing destination map, which currently includes routes to Dusseldorf, Berlin and Munich.’

Ryanair urges customers to comply with cabin bag rules to avoid delays

Ryanair, the Ireland-based European airline, is urging customers to comply fully with its cabin bag rules to help avoid boarding delays during this peak summer season.

The reminder to customers comes as Ryanair is preparing for one of the busiest seasons, with 97 percent of booking already in place for this summer. Ryanair allows passengers to carry one 10kg cabin bag and one smaller bag onboard. The normal 10 kg cabin bag can have maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size, while the smaller bag may be a handbag, laptop bag, or an airport shopping bag.

Due to space limitations, only 90 normal cabin bags of 10 kgs can be carried in the overhead locker cabin. Any additional normal cabin bags can be carried free of charge in the aircraft hold. Carry-on bags must fit in the sizer at the boarding gate and any oversized cabin bags will be refused, or where available, placed in the aircraft hold for a fee of GBP50/EUR50, the airline said.

However, customers may add Priority Boarding to the booking for an additional EUR5.00, to guarantee that their bag gets on board. The airline said that customers travelling on short 2-4 day breaks, who wish to ensure that their cabin bag doesn’t go in the hold, are advised to add Priority Boarding.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘Despite our repeated messaging, some customers are still attempting to bring larger than permitted bags onboard, which are causing delays at the boarding gate. As advised, customers are permitted to bring a normal cabin bag and a smaller bag onboard.

However, many customers are repeatedly exceeding our cabin baggage allowance and we will be left with no choice but to review our policy should this practice continue.

Many of our flights are full given it’s the peak summer period and we urge customers to ensure that they travel with less carry-on bags where possible. Our aircraft can only carry 90 larger carry-on bags and our gate agents are rigorously enforcing our carry-on policy to avoid flight delays and ensure an enjoyable travel experience for all customers. Customers who wish to carry larger baggage are advised to purchase a checked-in bag.’

Customers who are travelling on holidays for longer periods and who wish to carry larger than 10kg bags are advised to select checked-in bags and check their luggage into the hold, Ryanair added.

Ryanair introduces 60-day check-in for purchased seats

Irish airlines Ryanair has said that customers who purchase an allocated seat for their flight can now check-in up to 60 days in advance, the latest customer service improvement offered under its ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) programme.

Accordingly, all Ryanair customers can select and purchase their preferred seat online, both on the Ryanair.com website and mobile app, from the time of booking up to two hours before their scheduled departure, and in turn can check-in online and on the app from between 60 days and two hours before their flight.

Customers who do not prefer to purchase an allocated seat can check-in between four days and two hours before their flight and will be randomly allocated a seat free of charge, the airline said.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We are pleased to introduce 60 day check-in for customers who purchase an allocated seat, the latest customer initiative as part of our ‘AGB’ programme, doubling the check-in window and providing more choice to consumers.

While we continue to innovate, the one thing that won’t change is our low fares, and our customers will still enjoy the biggest and best choice of destinations, with the most on-time flights and a fantastic onboard experience, as we continue to grow our fleet, traffic and routes.’

Ryanair’s new 60 day check-in window follows other recent AGB initiatives including: the introduction of connecting flights at Rome Fiumicino; a new partnership with the Erasmus Student Network offering student discounts; an enhanced Ryanair Rooms website offering a wide choice of accommodation options and the introduction of Ryanair Holidays to Italy and Spain.

In addition, Ryanair has recently announced a new flight partnership with Air Europa, which will allow its 130 million customers to book Air Europa long haul flights on the Ryanair.com website. Customers can now book Air Europa flights on 20 long haul routes from Madrid to 16 countries in North, Central and South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

The second phase of this Air Europa partnership is expected to be launched later this year and will allow Ryanair customers to connect onto Air Europa long haul flights through Madrid, Ryanair said.

Ryanair announces winter 2017 schedule from Birmingham Airport

Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, has announced its winter 2017 schedule from Birmingham Airport, which will deliver 21 winter routes including Alicante (six times weekly), Barcelona (daily) and Malaga (5 times daily), operating 99 weekly flights and delivering over 2.2m customers per annum.

Ryanair connects Birmingham with major business and leisure centres on high frequency services including Dublin (five daily), Madrid (four weekly) and Alicante (six weekly).

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We are pleased to launch our 2017 Birmingham winter schedule, with 21 routes including Alicante, Barcelona and Dublin, which will help deliver 2.2m customers p.a. and support 1,650 jobs at Birmingham Airport. These routes are now on sale on the Ryanair.com website as we continue to grow our Birmingham traffic, tourism and jobs.

‘We are also pleased to report record bookings on our Birmingham summer 2017 schedule and UK customers and visitors can look forward to even lower fares so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair. We urge all customers who wish to book their holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Birmingham.

‘To celebrate the launch of our Birmingham winter 2017 schedule we are releasing seats for sale across our European network from just GBP19.99 for travel in October and November which are available for booking until midnight Thursday (23 Mar). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

Ryanair added that its Birmingham summer 2017 schedule is attracting record bookings. The airline is offering increased frequencies to sun destinations for families, including three new routes to Chania (twice weekly), Girona (thrice weekly) and Porto (twice weekly), which commence at the end of March.

Birmingham Airport has recorded two years of continuous record monthly passenger growth as February became its busiest on record. In February, the Midlands’ biggest airport handled 807,733 passengers – 83,000 more than the same month in 2016 and an 11.5 per cent increase.

Ryanair launches winter 2017 schedule at Liverpool

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has launched its 2017 winter schedule at Liverpool, with two new routes to Copenhagen and Milan, and a new winter service to Prague.

Ryanair’s winter 2017 schedule from Liverpool will deliver a total of 24 routes, including the four-times weekly route to Copenhagen, thrice-weekly flights to Milan Malpensa, and a four-times weekly new winter service to Prague. The schedule will see Ryanair operating 90 weekly flights from the airport, which will help deliver two million customers per annum and support 1,500 jobs at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Ryanair said that it will continue to connect Liverpool with major European cities on increased frequency, low fare services including Barcelona (four weekly), Milan (three weekly) and Dublin (four daily), and also offer a wide range of winter sun routes, making it more suited for business and leisure customers.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We are pleased to launch our Liverpool winter 2017 schedule, which includes 2 brand new routes to Copenhagen and Milan, the continuation of our new Prague route into winter, and 24 routes in total, which will deliver 2m annual customers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. These new routes will go on sale on the Ryanair.com website later this week as we continue to grow our Liverpool traffic, tourism and jobs, underlining our commitment to LJLA and the Liverpool region.

‘We are also pleased to report record bookings on our Liverpool summer 2017 schedule and customers can look forward to even lower fares so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair. We urge all customers who wish to book their holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Liverpool.’

LJLA’s Director of Air Service Development, Paul Winfield, said: ‘Today’s news means that since September last year, Ryanair have now announced seven new destinations from Liverpool including three capital cities. Further growth next winter and the current success of their forthcoming summer programme, should make 2017 one of Ryanair’s busiest from Liverpool in recent years.’

Ryanair added that its Liverpool summer 2017 schedule is attracting record bookings, with increased frequencies on lower fares to sun destinations, including three new routes to Bari (twice weekly), Girona (twice weekly) and Prague (four time weekly), which will commence in March.

Ryanair launches record schedule for winter 2017

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has launched its biggest-ever winter schedule for 2017 from three London airports: London Stansted, London Gatwick and London Luton, operating a total of 140 routes, which will deliver 23.8m customers p.a. in total.

From London Stansted, the Irish airline has announced three new routes to Aalborg, Oradea and Pardubice, all operating thrice weekly. The airline has also announce six new winter services: a thrice weekly service to Cagliari, Copenhagen and Oslo Torp, and weekly service to Naples, Nice and Ponta Delgada. In addition, Ryanair has announced extra flights on 13 routes: Billund (twice daily), Bratislava (twice daily), Budapest (thrice daily), Cologne (twice daily), Baden (nine weekly), Lublin (four weekly), Marseille (daily), Stockholm Skavsta (twice daily), Plovdiv (thrice weekly), Poznan (nine weekly), Prague (twice daily), Sofia (16 weekly) and Toulouse (twice daily). The airline will operate a total of 124 routes, from the airport with over 1,100 weekly flights carrying over 20.5m customers p.a.

From London Gatwick, Ryanair has announced five routes to Alicante (six weekly), Belfast (five daily), Dublin (eight daily), Cork (daily) & Shannon (six weekly), operating 110 weekly flights and expected to carry 1.7 m customers p.a.

From London Luton, Ryanair has announced 15 routes including twice weekly services to Fuertaventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife and four times weekly flights to Malta. Ryanair will operate 72 weekly flights from the airport, and is expected to carry 1.6m customers p.a

Ryanair will also continue to connect London with major business centres including Berlin (four daily), Dublin (18 daily), Edinburgh (four daily) and Madrid (four daily) on high frequency, low fare services with better timings. The new routes will go on sale in February 2017, it said.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We are pleased to launch our biggest-ever London winter schedule, with 9 new London Stansted winter routes and extra flights on 13 existing routes, which will deliver 23.8m customers p.a. and support over 17,000 jobs at Ryanair’s three London airports. We are also pleased to report record bookings on our London summer 2017 schedule, and customers can look forward to even lower fares, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair. We urge all customers who wish to book their holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from London.’

Ryanair added that its London summer 2017 schedule is attracting record bookings, with increased frequencies and lower fares to sun destinations for family holidays, as well as enhanced customer experience as it continues to roll out its ‘Always Getting Better’ improvements.

Ryanair to carry over 22,000 racing fans for Cheltenham Festival

Ryanair, Irish budget airline and the official carrier of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, has announced that it will carry over 22,000 racing fans to and from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival due next month.

Cheltenham is a regency spa town and borough located on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. Home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.

Ryanair has scheduled 38 extra flights and over 120 flights in total to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands for Cheltenham week, set to start on Tuesday, March 14. The highlights include the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase on Thursday, March 16, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup which takes place on St Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We’re under starter’s orders for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival with just four weeks to go and racing fans are booking Ryanair flights in record numbers once more. We’ll carry over 22,000 punters to and from Cheltenham, all on the lowest fares, and we’ve scheduled over 120 flights to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands, including 38 extras.

All eyes will be on the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, which takes place on Thursday, 16th March and as the official airline of the Cheltenham Festival, we’ll be hoping for even more Irish winners this time around. Racing fans can snap up the last seats to Cheltenham on the Ryanair.com website.’

Ryanair added that it is giving away race day tickets on its social media pages – Facebook and Twitter – in the build-up to the festival, and racing fans can book their Cheltenham seats on Ryanair.com.

Ryanair commences new services from Aberdeen, new Bristol-Cologne route for winter

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has commenced its first flight to Malaga from Aberdeen International Airport on February 8, 2017.

The new year-round service to the popular Spanish destination will operate twice-weekly from Aberdeen. Ryanair also said that a second new route to Alicante will commence on February 9, 2017.

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Ryanair to the airport since we announced these fantastic new routes last July and I’m delighted to welcome the airline back to the North-east after a six-year hiatus.

‘These routes are particularly exciting for us, as Alicante and Malaga were the two most requested destinations in a leisure survey we carried out with the local community early last year. It’s brilliant to know that Aberdeen holidaymakers can now easily reach their favourite destinations direct from their local airport, without the inconvenience of long car journeys or multiple flights. Furthermore, with two flights to Alicante and Malaga per week, passengers have the choice of either a quick, three-day getaway or a longer break in the sun.’

In addition to the new routes launching this week, Ryanair is planning to extend its Aberdeen schedule in May by introducing year-round flights to Faro in Portugal’s Algarve region.

Robin Kiely, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, said: ‘We are pleased to return to Aberdeen and launch our new routes to Alicante and Malaga, with Faro set to follow in May, and our low fare routes will deliver 75,000 customers through Aberdeen Airport this year.’

Separately, the Irish airline announced that it will commence a new winter route from Bristol to Cologne, with a four times weekly service, as part of its Bristol winter 2017 schedule.

Ryanair celebrated the new Bristol – Cologne route by releasing seats across its European network for sale at prices starting from EUR9.99. These low fare seats are available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight of February 13, 2017.

Ryanair announces Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, new Liverpool-Milan Malpensa route

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has launched its Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, with one new route to Barcelona, three new winter services to Lisbon, Madrid and Milan and extra flights to Porto.

Available for travel in February and March, Ryanair’s Luxembourg winter schedule offers six new destinations, including a new service to Barcelona (operating four times weekly), three new winter services to: Lisbon (five services weekly), Madrid (four weekly service) and Milan Bergamo (also four times weekly) and extra flights ( six weekly service) to Porto. The airline’s winter schedule at Luxembourg will operate 30 weekly flights, delivering over 450,000 customers per annum and creating 340 ‘on-site’ jobs per annum at the airport.

Ryanair presently connects Luxembourg with major leisure and business centres, including London Stansted (daily) and Madrid (four weekly).

Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We are pleased to launch our Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, with a new route to Barcelona, new winter flights to Lisbon, Madrid, Milan and extra flights to Porto with 6 routes in total, which will deliver over 450,000 customers p.a. and support 340 jobs as we continue to grow at Luxembourg Airport.

Customers can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for winter 2017, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair and we urge all customers who wish to book their summer or winter 2017 holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Luxembourg.’

Separately, Ryanair said that it has launched a new route from Liverpool to Milan Malpensa, with a three times weekly service beginning in October, as part of its winter 2017 schedule.

On the new Liverpool-Milan Malpensa route, Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce a new route from Liverpool to Milan Malpensa, with a three-times weekly service starting in October, as part of our Liverpool winter 2017 service, which will be launched soon.

Liverpool customers and visitors can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for their summer or winter holidays, so there’s never been a better time to book low fare flight to or from Liverpool.’

Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s Director of Air Service Development, Paul Winfield added: ‘It’s great to be able to celebrate our first new route announcement of the year so early into 2017 and for another airport in Italy to become linked with Liverpool later this year.

We expect this flight to Milan Malpensa to prove popular with the region’s travellers looking to travel to this part of Italy and also look forward to welcoming visitors to the Liverpool City Region from Italy on this service too.’