Ryanair is looking to launch flights to Russia, Israel and Turkey as part of its ongoing drive to expand its passenger numbers and destinations, the airline has confirmed.
No doubt this will be welcome news for Russian timeshare owners visiting London and European holiday destinations, and great news for Brits planning a holiday in Israel or Turkey.
There is no confirmed timeline yet, but the airline regularly launches new flights and new routes.
Its future plans also include making things easier for parents flying with small children and attracting more business passengers, who currently make up a small minority of its overall passenger volume.
Plans to have aircraft based in Athens, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon, all key business travel destinations, are also taking shape – most flights will take off from its main base at Stansted.
The no frills carrier wants to attract more corporate travellers, groups and families to increase passenger numbers to 110 million by 2019.
And the airline has a new woman on board, head of corporate travel and groups Lesley Kane, who has pledged to make flying easier for parents and children.
Ryanair has already has ordered 175 new planes, the first of which will be delivered this autumn to service new routes.
Kane said recently: “We aim to grow from 81.5 million passengers this year to 110 million by 2019 and that growth has to come from somewhere. We have recognised that there is a huge potential in the corporate market and we are going to actively target these passengers.”
Currently just 22% or 19 million of Ryanair’s passengers are business travellers but the airline is hoping to increase this to 38 million within five years. It says it will also fast track passengers through major airports, offer a 15 kilo baggage allowance along with other perks which have not been confirmed yet.
Kane admitted that flying with Ryanair “has been hell” for families in the past, but things are already improving. Kids can carry an extra bag or teddy bear on board, and the airline may start giveaways such as free allocated seating for children sitting next to their parents.
“We will be looking at all sorts of ways to make it easier to travel with kids,” she said.