Ryanair has announced three summer bases at Chania, Corfu, and Rhodes with four B737-800s in all. It’ll launch 46 more routes, almost all without head-to-head competition, helping to close the carrier’s Greece seat gap over summer 2019.
Ryanair has announced three new bases in Greece this summer at Chania, Corfu, and Rhodes. Corfu will see two based B737-800s, while Chania and Rhodes will have one apiece. 46 routes will be added – including more within Greece – with a total of 93 weekly departures. All three bases will be summer-only and temporary and will run from July to October.
Why is it happening?
The always-popular Greece has seen even more popularity recently. As Simple Flying showed, TUI will deploy more widebodies to the country than ever, while Heathrow is expected to see over one million Greece for the first time.
This arises from Greece currently being one the few countries in Europe to be very clear in wanting to welcome tourists this summer, with Ryanair and many others shifting capacity to benefit from this increased demand. Of course, much may get in the way.
As Ryanair’s Commercial Director, Jason McGuinness, said:
“Greece is proving to be a resilient destination and is determined to lead the way in tourism recovery as we walk away from the pandemic. Following the announcement of the first travel corridors with Israel and Cyprus in April and the official re-opening to all international travel from 14th May, we are proud to support the resurgence of the country’s tourism industry and to offer both Greek visitors and customers greater choice and even lower fares.”
46 routes coming
Ryanair’s added routes, shown in the table below, include three to the UK: Rhodes to Birmingham and Chania to both Leeds Bradford and Newcastle. They also include five more within Greece, such as the 147-mile hop from Chania to Mykonos and the 179-mile link between Rhodes and Heraklion.
|From||To||Start date||Weekly flights when route begins|
|Chania||Kyiv Boryspil||July 6th||2|
|Chania||Leeds Bradford||June 3rd||1|
|Chania||Rome Ciampino||July 1st||2|
|Chania||Tel Aviv||July 1st||2|
|Chania||Venice Treviso||June 4th||3|
|Corfu||Milan Malpensa||July 3rd||2|
|Corfu||Tel Aviv||July 1st||1|
|Rhodes||Tel Aviv||July 1st||2|
|Rhodes||Venice Treviso||July 4th||2|
|Rhodes||Warsaw Modlin||July 3rd||2|
Suceava and Sibiu, both in Romania, are new airports in Ryanair’s network this year, and they’ll both have new routes to Greece. Tel Aviv, meanwhile, is a fast-growing airport for the Irish ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC), and it’ll see new routes from all three bases. As such, Ryanair will serve six Greek airports (Athens, Chania, Corfu, Rhodes, Santorini, and Thessaloniki) from Tel Aviv.
As is often the case, some of Ryanair’s 46 routes are the result of other airlines ending them. For example, Norwegian was due to operate Copenhagen to Corfu on a once-weekly basis for seven weeks, but its website shows that it is not bookable.
Only a handful to have direct competition
Only a small number of routes will see head-to-head competition with Ryanair, with the ULCC again showing how it strives to open unserved routes. Milan Malpensa to Corfu stands out. Ryanair will be the fourth airline on it, joining Aegean, easyJet, and Wizz Air. Before coronavirus, it had eight weekly departures. Now it’ll have 17.
Will help to close Ryanair’s Greece gap
Despite this higher-than-ever interest in Greece, Ryanair’s seats to, from, and within the country are down by nearly one million over summer 2019, although this excludes these coming 46 routes which will help to close the gap.
In contrast, Wizz Air and Volotea’s summer offering is up significantly, while easyJet’s is down by just 2%.