Ryanair expects to lead the recovery of aviation in Spain, reaching 50 million passengers in the current fiscal year (from March 2022 to March 2023), exceeding the record figure of 46.9 million that it transported in 2019, before the pandemic. . The low-cost Irish company plans to reopen the bases that it closed in the Canary Islands in 2019 and hire between 800 and 1,000 additional employees in the next four years so that the workforce grows from the current 6,000 workers to 10,000, including engineers, pilots, crew cabin crew and ground crew.
This was revealed by the CEO of the Ryanair group, Michael O’Leary, at a meeting with the media in Madrid on the occasion of the commemoration of the company’s 20 years in Spain, a market in which it has become the leading airline by number of passengers.
To undertake this expansion, the company has signed contracts with Boeing to acquire 210 new 737 MAX aircraft over the next five years, of which 50 will be destined for the Spanish market, at a rate of ten or 12 new aircraft per year. O’Leary is confident that, in this new stage after the pandemic, Ryanair will take advantage of the void left by companies that have disappeared in Spain, such as Thomas Cook or Norwegian, to increase its operations.
The CEO of Ryanair DAC, Eddie Wilson, the first airline of the group, has detailed that he is in talks with the Government of the Canary Islands to reopen the bases on the four islands of the archipelago, without also ruling out the base in Menorca and with great interest in Spanish regions, such as Cantabria or Galicia. The company seeks not only to promote tourism in these areas, but also to take advantage of the capacity they offer as destinations or origins of business travelers.
The airline announced in 2019 the closure of the three bases it had in the Canary Islands (Las Palmas, Tenerife Sur and Lanzarote) and the one it owned in Girona, alleging the delay in the arrival of the new Boeing 737 MAX, although the decision was also influenced by the labor conflict that the airline had with its workers, many of them subcontracted through intermediary companies, as denounced by the unions.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Regarding rates, O’Leary reassured customers and assured that he does not foresee an increase in the price of tickets thanks to the fact that Ryanair acquired last March 80% of the fuel for the fiscal year, which will end in March 2023, to a price of 63.64 dollars, thus avoiding the extra cost that, as he warned, will be registered by other competing airlines such as Wizz Air, easyJet or Iberia, which do not have these contracts.
During the event, the company presented a report prepared by the consulting firm PwC that highlights its contribution to the Spanish economy in the last 20 years. Since the beginning of its operations in 2002, Ryanair has transported more than 400 million passengers to or from Spain; it has contributed 14,000 million euros a year in income to the Spanish economy; It has created more than 6,000 direct jobs and contributed to the creation of another 300,000 jobs in the tourism sector, being the first airline in passenger traffic for 12 consecutive years. In 2021, the low-cost Irish airline moved 23.4 million passengers and accounted for 19.5% of national air traffic, while the airline of the Spanish-British group IAG moved 22.3 million travelers on its aircraft and concentrated 18.6% of passengers.
tourism on the rise
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, who participated in the commemoration act, has advanced this Thursday that the forecasts for tourism in summer are “positive” according to the advanced indicators that they handle, especially sales forecasts of airplane seats.
The Minister of Tourism recalled that the air capacity survey published by Turespaña reflects the sale of 29 million seats for the second quarter of the year, 95% of pre-pandemic levels. The high percentage of the vaccinated population, as well as the confidence that Spain instills, explain the recovery, said the minister.