Ryanair Reveals Winter Capacity Cutbacks

Irish budget operator Ryanair has outlined plans to significantly trim down its operations this winter, temporarily closing some of its bases and placing aircraft into short-term storage. The airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary has confirmed that significant cuts will be made at two of its largest bases, with capacity reductions of 18% at Dublin and 22% at London/Stansted. “With oil at $140 a barrel, flights at high cost/expensive airports must be reduced this winter when fares are very low,” said a statement from the airline.
At Dublin the number of based aircraft will be cut from 22 to 18 while at Stansted eight of the 36 B737-800s that fly from the London airport will be taken out of service. A senior executive at the airline confirmed to Airliner World that the company “will lose less money by sitting these eight aircraft on the ground, rather than flying them”.
Ryanair will also close seven of its Continental European bases for 46 days between November 4 and December 19. These are Basel, Budapest, Krakow, Palma, Rzeszow, Salzburg and Valencia. “Costs at these airports are among the most expensive in Europe and far outweigh the potential revenue which passengers are prepared to pay, particularly during the off-peak winter period,” according to the airline.
It is not all negative news emanating from the Irish carrier though. It has confirmed that it will launch new flights this winter from London/Stansted to Basel, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Katowice, Malaga and Tenerife; from London/Luton to Biarritz in the South of France and from Leeds Bradford to Alicante and Girona in Spain.