Ryanair yesterday presented a Greek tourism rescue plan to the Transport Minister Kostas Chatzidakis which could see Ryanair grow its Greek traffic to 10 million  passengers per annum by 2016, on the day Ryanair opened its 1st Greek base (and 57th in total) at Chania.

Ryanair has carried over 2 million passengers to/from Greece in less than 3 years since its first flight arrived to Kos from Frankfurt Hahn in May 2010. Ryanair’s summer 2013 schedule will offer 85 Greek routes from 10 airports (including 2 new airports at Kalamata and Zakynthos), delivering over 1.4 million per annum.

The airline highlighted traffic at Greece’s main gateway Athens Airport has fallen by 22% from its peak in 2008 at 16.4 million to 12.8 million passengers in 2012, Ryanair said it could deliver up to 4 million passengers p.a. if a realistic low-cost deal were made available at Athens Airport, with a further 2 million passengers at Thessaloniki and 4 million passengers across Ryanair’s 10 other Greek airports.

Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley said “In 2013, Ryanair will carry over 1.4m passengers through Greek airports, sustaining 1,400 jobs and underlining Ryanair’s commitment to Greece’s tourism industry.Tourism is one of the few industries that can quickly provide the economic boost that Greece so badly needs with new jobs and high-spending international tourists.

Ryanair has carried over 2m passengers to/from Greece with these passengers saving over €140m by switching to Ryanair’s low fares.However, while our 10 Greek airports continue to grow, traffic at Athens continues to decline as it misses out on Ryanair’s traffic and tourism jobs growth, as well as Ryanair’s low fares, while its management refuses to engage with Ryanair.”

In addition Ryanair has made proposals to Governments in Ireland ,Italy, Spain over the last three years to grow passenger numbers incrementally over a four or five year period in return for lower airport costs, thus positively growing their perspective tourist industries generating jobs directly and in the wider economy.
The proposal made to the Irish Government was for 6 million additional passengers, and the Italian government for 13 million additional passengers and the Spanish government for 20 million additional passengers.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 26th April 2013 All Rights Reserved.