LONDON (Alliance News) - Ryanair Holdings PLC Thursday said it will open twelve new routes from London Stansted in April 2014 and add to existing routes, a move that follows a deal it signed with the airport operator in September under which it pledged to grow its traffic at Stansted by 50% to over 20 million passengers a year over the next 10 years.
Europe's largest low-cost carrier said the twelve new routes are to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek, Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea, bringing its total routes from Stansted to 126.
The company also said it has added more flights and improved schedules on 17 existing routes, bringing its total to 600 weekly flights from Stansted airport, one of its main hubs.
Ryanair said that the new flights will bring 1.3 million new Ryanair passengers per year, bringing its total to 14.5 million. It also said that the deal will sustain 1,300 on site jobs at Stansted.
That meets its pledge under the September deal to increase passenger numbers to 14.5 million in the first year of the deal.
Ryanair agreed to grow at Stansted in return for lower costs and more efficient facilities. The Irish carrier is well known to be tough on airport operators when it renegotiates airport deals, and has previously pulled out of airports altogether when it doesn't feel it is getting the right terms.
The UK airport regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, last month delayed making proposals on the amount Stansted can charge airlines for the next five years, following the deal Stansted operator Manchester Airport Group did with Ryanair and the airport's other main user, easyJet PLC. The regulator has asked for opinions about the deals before it makes its proposals.
Ryanair shares were up 0.4% to 5.665 pence Thursday.
By Tom McIvor; firstname.lastname@example.org; @TomMcIvor1
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