Earlier this year, carrier Ryanair drastically increased its Swedish footprint with a new base in the country. Located at Stockholm Arlanda, Sweden’s largest and busiest airport, this hub has allowed Ryanair to move away from Stockholm’s distant low-cost Skavsta and Västerås facilities. The airline has now revealed it took quite some time to strike a deal there.
Opened in October
Despite the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Ryanair has been able to make significant network expansions in recent months. One of these saw the Irish low-cost carrier base an initial two Boeing 737-800 aircraft at Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN).
This marked an interesting step change for Ryanair, whose flights to the Swedish capital typically used its Skavsta and Västerås airports. It moved in in October, opening an initial 21 routes there. Two of these serve domestic destinations, namely Gothenburg and Malmö. It is shortly set to add a third domestic route from Arlanda, which will serve Skellefteå.
Meanwhile, the 19 international routes opened by Ryanair at its new Stockholm Arlanda base primarily focus on leisure and VFR traffic. They serve a wide range of European destinations, stretching as far away as Spain and Greece. Next year, Ryanair will increase its route portfolio with a series of seasonal services, largely to Mediterranean leisure destinations.
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More than 20 years in the making
As we can see from the dozens of routes that Ryanair will eventually operate from Stockholm Arlanda next year, it is keen on establishing itself as a key player at the airport. However, doing this has been a long-lasting process, as Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson explained today as part of a World Aviation Festival interview. Specifically, he stated that:
“When airports are looking for growth, there’s only one show in town, and that’s us. You know, look at Arlanda. As long as I’ve been here, we’ve been asking Arlanda for a deal: that’s well over 20 years now. And we’re bringing four aircraft there this summer. So if you want growth in an airport, the only show in town is Ryanair.”
Eurowings has similar plans
Interestingly, Ryanair isn’t the only European low-cost carrier that has plans to establish a greater presence at Sweden’s largest airport. Indeed, Germany’s Eurowings has something similar in the pipeline, and will open a host of new routes from ARN next March. At present, it only flies there from the German cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg.
However, moving forward, it will begin serving destinations outside its homeland from Stockholm Arlanda. While these don’t have quite the same Mediterranean leisure focus as Ryanair’s upcoming services, they will clash on routes to the likes of Alicante, Rome, and Palma de Mallorca. It will certainly be interesting to see who comes out on top.
What do you make of Ryanair’s presence at Stockholm Arlanda? Have you ever flown with the airline from the Swedish capital? Let us know our thoughts and experiences in the comments.