LONDON – Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair (FR) has announced it will be adding additional UK domestic flights to accommodate for university students to get home during the UK Government’s ‘travel window’ announcement.

The ‘travel window’ is between December 3-9, which will enable students to travel to other parts of the United Kingdom to be reunited with friends and families over the Christmas period.

It is unclear at the moment what the return dates will be as it has not been announced by the government at the present time.

Photo: Daniel Sander

Ryanair Happy to Help

Before advertising its fares, Ryanair’s Spokesperson Alejandra Ruiz stated that the airline was happy to help accommodate what can be a stressful time.

“We welcome this ‘travel window’ guidance which allows students the opportunity to fly home to their families and friends, in advance of the busy Christmas travel rush.”

The Irish low-cost carrier is taking a guess at when students will have to return back to University, with the flights running until January 8 next year.

Photo: John Leivaditis

Service Information

The airline is expected to operate additional services on the following routes:

  • London Stansted (STN) – Edinburgh (EDI) – Increase of two weekly flights.
  • Derry (LDY) – Liverpool (LPL) – Increase of four weekly flights.
  • Belfast (BFS) – STN – Increase of two weekly flights.
  • EDI – LDY – Increase of three weekly flights.

These routes appear to be the most popularly used by students, especially with the high difference in mileage that such students will be away from home.

Photo: Marco Macca

Much Needed Revenue in a Volatile Time?

It could be argued that this offering will benefit Ryanair and keep it ticking over during the Winter period, with the industry forecasted to plummet in terms of demand.

Even going into the Summer season next year, Ryanair is aiming for 80% capacity, representing slow and gradual growth as it aims to get back to normal.

The airline is evidently being careful with its financials, especially after a posting a half-year loss of 197 million EUR. This encouraged the airline to suspend all Irish operations, with services still able to run out of Dublin Airport (DUB).

Photo: Marco Macca

Going into 2021…

Looking at the short-term perspective, Ryanair (FR) would hope that term start dates would get extended by a gradual few days so it could potentially add more flights and generate more revenue.

That being said, 2021 will be a challenge for FR as well as other carriers across Europe and globally, as it aims to grow as fast as it can, without damaging its financials any further.

It will be interesting to see whether this program by FR will succeed or not and if it does, could encourage more student flights especially until a vaccine is fully distributed and with the general public.

Featured Image: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS. Photo Credit: Francesco Cecchetti