(Credits: Fabrizio Berni)

MIAMI – Following the success of providing connecting flights to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Bergamo, Ryanair has announced 20 brand new routes which will call through Porto airport in Portugal.

Picture of Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair Kenny Jacobs seen holding the Portuguese flag to celebrate the expansion out of Porto. Picture from Ryanair.

Under the 4th year of the carrier’s “Always Getting Better” program, these services will commence from January 3rd next year and will be offering flights from £9.99 one way.

READ MORE: Big Words From Ryanair on Transatlantic Travel

These connections apply for those flying from:

  • Barcelona (Connect onwards to Faro, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada and Terceira)
  • Bologna (Connect onwards to Faro)
  • Brussels (Connect onwards to Faro and Ponta Delgada)
  • Dortmund (Connect onwards to Lisbon)
  • Dusseldorf Weeze (Connect onwards to Ponta Delgada)
  • Faro (Connect onwards to Nuremberg)
  • Karlsruhe (Connect onwards to Terceira)
  • Lisbon (Connect onwards to Madrid, Milan Malpensa, Dusseldorf Weeze, Mallorca and Valencia)
  • Milan Bergamo (Connect onwards to Faro, Ponta Delgada and Terceira)
  • Memmingen (Connect onwards to Lisbon)

With these connecting flights, Ryanair aims to provide a transfer airside between connecting flights without the need to go back into the terminals through security, which will increase efficiency on Ryanair’s end and also on Porto airport’s end too as they can transfer passengers around a lot faster.

They are also wanting to implement checked-in baggage transfers through to the final destination, in order to reduce the time wasted in individually checking in bags when you have landed at a connection point as well as adding one booking reference for both flights.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer commented on this expansion: “Ryanair is pleased to extend our connecting flights service to Porto Airport from 3rd January 2018, allowing customers to book connecting Ryanair flights on the lowest fares at one of our four popular Portuguese bases. Starting with an initial 20 new routes, customers will be able to transfer onto their next flight without having to go landside, and have their bags checked through to their final destination.”

A New USP?

The transfer of passengers airside is something quite new and unique to hit the airline industry. This is a very smart move from Ryanair, being as far as we know, one of the main carriers that will now use this service to increase convenience for travelers.

Many passengers hate the stresses of going through security upon landing, never mind twice in two different airports if they are connecting. This will encourage travelers to use Ryanair for the ease of access to the airport, which will boost their passenger numbers even further and stop them from stagnating.

With competitors like easyJet cutting down the gap on passenger numbers to around 25 million overall, Ryanair will be looking to poach some of easyJet’s customers through these services.

READ MORE: EasyJet Opens New Bordeaux Base. What about Ryanair’s French Progress?

EasyJet announced earlier this week that they had a 10% jump in passengers for their October month, followed by Norwegian and Wizz Air who reported growth too.

Implementing a USP like airside transfers, this should alleviate the pressure and should enable Ryanair to regain the passengers that they need to increase the gain between their rivals.

In order for the pressure to continue, Norwegian, Wizz Air and easyJet will have to implement the same service at lower prices. If they are transferring passengers airside, it could bring the handling costs down at airports won’t charge them for their passengers to use their facilities per se.

And because they would have been already screened at their origin airport, no additional checks would be needed as they would have been sufficiently completed.

All-in-all, for Ryanair, this USP will be popular and now that they have gained such a headstart in this USP, they can market it, expand it and sell it all over Europe before their competitors can.

This will then increase the gap in passenger numbers on a competitive basis, rather than bridging the gap, which is something they are indeed keen to avoid.