Last month we informed that Vueling was about to catch Ryanair as the largest operator in Spain. Now, latest data collected from Aena confirm that, with the month of March over, Vueling has become the first operator in the Spanish airports as a matter of fact.
Between January and March they have served 4.60 million passengers, ahead of Ryanair which transported 4,57 million people within the same period.
However, aiming to keep their position, they announced some changes with regard to their operations in Spain:First of all, according to ABC.es Ryanair will connect Madrid with six new destinations, i.e. Bremen,Catania, Cologne, Eindhoven, Fes and Warsow, all to start in November.
Also, they will increase frequencies with nine of their routes from Madrid, to destinations like London or Milan, foreseeing to transport 3.7 million passengers a year.
This announcement was launched by Ryanair just the day after Iberia said that they will be increasing capacity with Santo Domingo, Istanbul and Athens and that Iberia Express will be increasing with Amsterdam andStockholm.
To this respect, during an interview with Michael O’Leary – chairman – and Kenny Jacobs – director of Marketing – by another article from the same media ABC.es, O’Leary would have said “you should not believe what they say in their press conferences” and added he is not concerned about the Vueling increase because, in his view, it is based on the passenger transfer from airlines in the IAG group.
When they were asked about the new measures to be taken by the airline, they said
The main ones are those we have already approved: there are no more free-seat reservations and no more restrictions for a second carry-on luggage.
Apart from that, in May we are announcing a new product for families who fly Ryanair and for business clients. But the most important change this year is the one in our web site.
Preferente.com informed that Ryanair is planning to grow in the Canaries, Ibiza, Málaga and Alicante “to end up growing by 10% in 2014, with 37 million passengers which will be subject to the evolution of charges in Aena Aerpuertos”.
Just in this line, ElMundo.es informed on Wednesday that Ryanair is planning to cut 20 weekly frequencies from Barcelona because of the new environmental tax. Although this tax is not imposed by Aena Aeropuertos, the Government of the Catalonia Autonomous Region approved it in February and, according to the Ryanair calculations, it might have an impact for them of 500,000 Euros a year.
Photo: Strait of Gibraltar view from a Ryanair’s plane/ Flickr