Ryanair To Open Budapest Base, 31 New Routes

  • 3 Feb 2012 9:00 AM
Ryanair To Open Budapest Base, 31 New Routes
Following the <a href="http://www.xpatloop.com/news/malev_grounded_hungarian_national_airline_in_crisis" target="blank">grounding of Malév</a> today Ryanair announced that it intends to launch 'a rescue plan' for Hungarian air travel and tourism. Ryanair confirmed that it will base 4 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft at Budapest Airport commencing Friday 17th February. Fares will start from EURO 9.99 (approx. HUF2,999), the routes aim to deliver up to 2 million passengers per year. Ryanair is still in discussions with the airport and the Hungarian government to finalise the plan which aims to save around 2,000 jobs, and replace most of the traffic and routes lost due to the collapse of the national carrier.

This largest ever investment in Hungarian aviation and tourism is subject to reaching final agreement today on costs, facilities and handling. Ryanair’s Deputy CEO Michael Cawley traveled to Budapest today to finalise negotiations with Hungarian officials.

In May last year Ryanair announced plans to temporarily cut its capacity by grounding 80 aircraft in the 2012 winter schedules due to the high cost of fuel and weak economic conditions. Now with all those aircraft available Ryanair has the capacity to immediately respond to the current situation in Hungary by moving aircraft, pilots and crews to Budapest within two weeks from today.

International Airport Council figures confirm that the currently projected 2m pax p.a. will support 2,000 jobs at Liszt Ferenc Airport. The Irish low-cost airline currently employs over 700 Hungarian pilots and cabin crew, and will be holding an open recruitment day in Budapest on Tuesday 7th February. Ryanair is inviting job applications from Malev pilots, cabin crew and engineers to help gear up for its new base in Budapest.

Last month in Budapest Michael O’Leary announced five new Ryanair routes from Budapest would start in March this year. The company today named the following Ryanair routes and fares from Budapest starting in mid-February:

Alicante, Baden Baden, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bologna, Bristol, Brussels (CRL), Chania, Dublin, Eindhoven, Gottenburg, Hamburg (LBC), Krakow, London (STN), Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan (BGY), Munich West, Oslo, Palma, Paphos, Paris, Pisa, Rhodes, Rome (CIA), Stockholm (NYO), Thessaloniki, Trapani, Venice( TSF), Warsaw (Modlin).

All Ryanair’s new routes starting this February from Budapest go on sale today via Ryanair.com/hu

Ryanair is well-known for its rapid expansion, a result of deregulation in the European aviation industry in 1997 and the success of its 'no-frills' business model. Established in 1985, this low-cost airline is now one of Europe's largest carriers.

Ryanair is also known to use advertising to make comparisons and attack competitors. Its adverts once used a picture of the 'Manneken Pis', the famous Belgian statue of a urinating child, with the headline: "Pissed off with Sabena's high fares? Low fares have arrived in Belgium."

Sabena, the national airline of Belgium from 1923 until its bankruptcy in 2001, sued and a court ruled the ads were offensive and misleading. Ryanair was ordered to discontinue the campaign and obliged to publish an apology, Ryanair then used the apologies for more price comparisons.

Reportedly Ryanair's net profits rose from around €48 million in 1998 to €339 million in 2010. Only time will tell what profit can be made from the huge hole in the market left by Malév - certainly today's developments bode well for budget air travellers to and from Budapest as prices drop.

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