PHOTO: Ryanair.

LONDON – Having threatened withdrawal over BREXIT in the past, Ryanair has announced an expansion to their London schedules for the Summer 2019 season.

The carrier has announced 23 brand new routes from four different London airports, offering a 5% increase in passengers to a forecasted 26 million per annum.

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Three new aircraft will be based at Southend with an additional two being based at Luton.

The new routes are as follows:

  • Stansted:
    • Kiev
    • Lviv
    • Nantes
  • Luton
    • Alicante
    • Athens
    • Barcelona
    • Bologna
    • Cork
    • Malaga
  • Southend
    • Alicante
    • Bilbao
    • Brest
    • Copenhagen
    • Cluj
    • Corfu
    • Dublin
    • Faro
    • Kosice
    • Malaga
    • Milan
    • Palma
    • Reus
    • Venice

This brings the total route portfolio out of the London area to 180 out of Stansted, Luton, Southend, and Gatwick.

This will also help support 20,000 on-site jobs per annum.

Commenting on the expansion and also concerns for BREXIT was Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary.

“Ryanair is pleased to launch our biggest ever London S 2019 schedule with over 180 routes from our 4 London airports, including 1 new base at Southend and 23 new routes to exciting destinations such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Copenhagen, and Kiev.

Our S2019 schedule will deliver 26m customers p.a. through Stansted, Luton, Southend, and Gatwick, all at the lowest fares, as we continue to grow London traffic, tourism, and jobs.

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We remain concerned at the increasing risk of a hard (no-deal) Brexit in March 2019. 

While we hope that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 will be agreed, recent events in the UK have added uncertainty, and we believe that the risk of a hard Brexit (which could lead to flights being grounded for a period of days or weeks) is being underestimated.”

This remains very surprising that Ryanair has expanded their UK portfolio bearing in mind the current political implications that are ongoing.

It will be interesting to see how the carrier reacts as we get closer to departure day in March 2019.

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Whether the carrier will continue to have that concern after we officially leave is unclear.

If treaties can be negotiated and transition periods can be set in stone, then there is no reason in why Ryanair should leave a prosperous market for them.