Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base

Ryanair has announced its next base: Stockholm Arlanda. Opening this October, two B737-800s will be based at the airport – which is new to Ryanair’s network – with an initial 21 routes, including two domestic services.

Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base
Ryanair will open its next base at Stockholm Arlanda. This raises the question of what will happen to its long-standing base at Skavsta. Photo: Getty Images.

Owing to labor rights and often relatively high airport charges, Ryanair’s new Stockholm Arlanda base will be only the carrier’s second base in Scandinavia, complementing Gothenburg. Skavsta was a base until 2020, with this airport joining Ryanair’s network in 1997, making it one of its first airports outside of Ireland and the UK. Arlanda comes just a week after Ryanair revealed Riga will also be a base.

Charlotte Ljunggren, Director of Marketing and Commercial Development at Swedavia, said:

“It is with great joy that we welcome Ryanair to Arlanda and Ryanair’s continued expansion in the Swedish market. Their large number of destinations is an important addition and complement to the existing range of destinations available at our airports.”

Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base
It’ll be very interesting to see how much Ryanair grows at Arlanda. Photo: Getty Images.

Domestic Sweden routes

Ryanair will begin two domestic routes to southern Sweden, seemingly driven by the end of Norwegian on them in 2020.

  1. Gothenburg: 14-weekly from October 31st
  2. Malmö: 10-weekly from October 31st

Gothenburg will use aircraft based at both Arlanda and Gothenburg. This accounts for some pretty awful-timed services, notably the 22:55 departure to Gothenburg on a Friday, arriving at 23:59. Both routes will compete head-to-head with SAS. When Ryanair begins, SAS will have 68 weekly departures to Gothenburg and 40 to Malmö.

Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base
In 2019, Scandinavia had just a 5% share of Ryanair’s total capacity, down from 9% in 2011. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer.

International routes

Some 19 international routes will be launched, as follows, most focused on tourism and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) demand. Not all will use Arlanda-based aircraft.

  1. Aalborg: three-weekly from November 2nd
  2. Alicante: twice-weekly from November 1st
  3. Banja Luka: twice-weekly from November 2nd
  4. Bologna: twice-weekly from November 1st
  5. Brussels Charleroi: four-weekly from October 31st
  6. Gdansk: seven-weekly from October 31st
  7. Kaunas: twice-weekly from November 2nd
  8. Karlsruhe: twice-weekly from October 31st
  9. Krakow: seven-weekly from October 31st
  10. Liverpool: twice-weekly from November 2nd
  11. London Stansted: seven-weekly from October 31st
  12. Malaga: three-weekly from October 31st
  13. Milan Bergamo: three-weekly from November 2nd
  14. Nis: twice-weekly from October 31st
  15. Riga: three-weekly from November 1st
  16. Tallinn: three-weekly from November 1st
  17. Thessaloniki: twice-weekly from November 1st
  18. Vienna: twice-weekly from October 31st
  19. Warsaw Modlin: five-weekly from October 31st
Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base
After declining at Skavsta and then remaining flat, probably from a lack of improvement on charges, Ryanair began growing at the airport again in 2018 and 2019. Photo: Getty Images

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What will happen to Ryanair at Skavsta?

The ULCC’s development at Arlanda raises the issue of what will happen at Skavsta. It seems that some routes, such as Alicante, Bergamo, London Stansted, Malaga, Thessaloniki, and Vienna, will shift to Arlanda.

Ryanair has always used Skavsta and, to a lesser degree, Västerås for wider Stockholm. Like other secondary airports, they were well-suited to its operation because:

  • They were willing to negotiate exceptionally low charges – the ‘they need us more than we need them’ situation
  • They’re small and have no congestion, meaning operational performance was very high
  • Classic 25-minute turns could be achieved, increasing aircraft sectors per day
  • Ultimately lower seat-mile costs and seat costs
  • Enabling lower fares, which in turn means more passengers daily
  • Generating more revenue from airfares and ancillaries
  • In turn more negotiating power
Moving Closer To Stockholm: Ryanair Launches New Arlanda Base
Ryanair will initially have 21 routes from Arlanda, including VFR markets such as Gdansk, Banja Luka, Riga, and Nis. Photo: Getty Images.

Continued move towards primary airports

Last year, Ryanair’s Director of Route Development, Niall O’Connor, confirmed to that secondary airports are still important to the carrier despite inevitably adding more primary airports as a part of natural network evolution. Both types of airport can grow and support each other, O’Connor said.

Arlanda is a further move towards primary airports, helped by coronavirus and improved incentive programs. As Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, Eddie Wilson, commented:

“Efficient operations and competitive airport charges provide the foundation from which Ryanair can deliver long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity. We have worked closely with Stockholm Arlanda airport to secure this growth.”

Will you be using Ryanair’s services from Arlanda? Comment below!