Ryanair set for third French base

European low-cost carrier Ryanair is to open its third base in France this winter and launch routes to 11 new destinations.

Ryanair has unveiled plans to open a new base at Toulouse from October 2019 as part of its winter schedule.

The budget airline will base two Boeing 737-800 aircraft at the airport, located in France’s southern Occitanie region. It comes as the carrier prepares to open its first two bases in France - at Bordeaux and Marseille - in summer 2019.

From Toulouse, Ryanair will open 11 new routes to Alicante, Brest, Budapest, Lille, Luxembourg, Marseille, Oujda, Palermo, Porto, Tangier and Valencia. In total, it will offer 20 routes to seven countries.

“We are delighted to announce a $200m aircraft investment at Ryanair's third French base in Toulouse Airport, which will deliver one million customers per annum, create 60 Ryanair pilot and cabin crew jobs and support 750 airport jobs,” said David O'Brien, Ryanair's chief commercial officer.

Philippe Crébassa, chairman of the board of Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, added: “The opening of a base with two aircraft will allow to develop the offer of the company from the Pink City.

“The 11 new routes announced by Ryanair are also excellent news for the attractiveness of Occitanie in Europe.”

Ryanair has been gradually growing its presence in France in recent years and last September revealed plans to open bases at Bordeaux and Marseille, with two aircraft at each.

According to figures from OAG Schedules Analyser, there were 10.54 million two-way seats available on domestic and international Ryanair flights serving France in 2018, up from 10.47 million the previous year.

The figure in 2017 marked a return to growth after seat capacity dropped by 4.7 percent to 9.80 million in 2016.

The Irish airline served 31 French airports in 2018, with Paris Beauvais, Marseille Provence and Toulouse its top three by flight departures.

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