Ryanair aims high and takes six former Spanair routes from Barcelona El Prat

The Irish low-cost airline has announced six new destinations from Barcelona El Prat Airport, as well as an increased frequency of flights on several existing routes. Ryanair has decided to occupy part of the market share left by Spanair after it went bankrupt 10 days ago. Furthermore, Ryanair’s President Michael O’Leary, replied to Spanair workers unions, who complained about the poor working conditions offered by the Irish company to hire them. “Nobody is obliged to work for Ryanair”, he said.


February 7, 2012 10:46 PM

Barcelona (ACN). - The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is aiming to occupy part of the market share left by Spanair. The President of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, announced six new routes from Barcelona El Prat Airport to destinations previously served by Spanair. Furthermore, O’Leary announced the Irish airline would also increase the frequency of several routes from Barcelona. Ryanair will thus base 13 of its aircraft at Barcelona El Prat and serve 39 destinations. 5,800 jobs will depend on Ryanair’s presence at Barcelona El Prat. The airline is also planning to transport 5.8 million passengers from the Catalan capital’s main airport. Furthermore, the Irish low-cost airline is also present at Girona-Costa Brava Airport and at Reus Airport. Ryanair expects to transport a total of 9 million passengers through Catalan airports in 2012. Besides, O’Leary reacted to the complaints voiced by Spanair workers and unions, who consider Ryanair’s initiative to hire them and offer lower working conditions. O’Leary joked about it and stated that “nobody is obliged to work for Ryanair”. If Spanair workers do not want to join Ryanair, “we will fill the vacancies” with professionals from throughout Europe, “who do want to work” with the Irish company, stated O’Leary.

Ryanair will offer six new destinations this summer from Barcelona El Prat Airport, three within Spain and three to European cities. The new destinations served by the Irish low-cost airline will be  Alacant/Alicante, Bilbao, Menorca, Stockholm, Hamburg, and Munich. Furthermore, Ryanair will increase its number of flights linking Barcelona El Prat Airport with the Canary Islands, Andalucía and the Balearic Islands. Flights to Gran Canaria and Tenerife will jump from six to eight per week. Flights to Seville and Málaga will increase from 21 to 28 per week. The frequency of the Barcelona – Ibiza route will go from 14 to 21 flights per week. Lastly, the route Barcelona – Palma de Mallorca (where Spanair had one of its bases) will jump from 21 to 35 flights per week.

O’Leary also clarified that the company would not serve the Barcelona – Madrid route, since they “are not interested in it”, as it is fully served by high-speed trains and other airlines. In addition, Ryanair will not operate again from Lleida-Alguaire on the short-term, although “it is a good airport”, said O’Leary. Ryanair’s president justified the decision because Lleida is already served by other airports where Ryanair is already present.