By Alan Dron and Aaron Karp
Ryanair unveiled 21 new routes from the UK for its upcoming winter season, including five from London Stansted (STN).
CEO Michael O’Leary has vowed the Irish LCC will never fly to/from London Heathrow (LHR), which he derided as “hopeless Heathrow” when releasing the winter schedule, citing the ongoing capacity caps and operational difficulties at London’s main hub.
Speaking in London Aug. 30, O’Leary said it is unlikely Ryanair will curtail growth even if Europe lapses into a recession. “People will not stop flying,” he said, adding: “In every other recession, we’ve grown faster. At the bottom end of our customer base, some people may travel less, [but] we see many more people trading down to Ryanair [from competitor airlines].”
Asked if the recession would temper Ryanair’s expansion plans—the airline is aiming to get to 225 million annual passengers by the end of 2025–O’Leary replied: “I’ve never tempered a growth plan in my life.”
Ryanair’s 2022/2023 winter schedule will include five new routes from London Stansted (STN): Asturias (OVD) in Spain; Catania (CTA) in Italy; Klagenfurt (KLU) in Austria; Lapland (GEV) in Sweden; and Leipzig (LEJ) in Germany.
Other notable winter schedule Ryanair flights from the UK include Liverpool (LPL)-Rome Ciampino (CIA), Birmingham (BHM)-Stockholm (ARN), BHM-Venice (VCE), Edinburgh (EDI)-Verona (VRN) in Italy, Manchester (MAN)-KLU, MAN-Turin (TRN) and Newcastle (NCL)-Barcelona (BCN).