The investment was projected at $200 million when the plan was announced in November.
“It’s a very important event for us, as Bratislava airport will see the return of a carrier that will base its aircraft here for the first time in many years, something that we haven’t seen since SkyEurope,” said the airport’s general director Ivan Trhlík, as cited by the TASR newswire. He is expecting an increase in the number of passengers thanks to the move. SkyEurope, which was also a low-cost airline, had its main base in Bratislava until 2009, when it suspended all flights and announced bankruptcy.
Ryanair’s new base will feature two specially based aircraft that will fly from the city early in the morning, serving a number of destinations across Europe before coming back in the evening. The low-fare airline is also considering basing other planes in the Slovak capital later on.
No Ryanair plane has remained at the airport overnight in the past, according to the airport’s spokesperson Veronika Ševčíková. The new base means that passengers will be able to enjoy better departure times - in the early morning and late evening.
“The figures for passengers in January, February and March, a period before the opening of the base, show as much as a 30-percent hike compared to last year,” said Trhlík. “We expect the increase in passenger numbers for the whole of 2015 to be massive. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of passengers more than in 2014.”
Ryanair’s base should make it possible for nearly 1 million passengers to be transported on board Ryanair planes this year.
Furthermore, Ryanair is set to open two new routes to Athens and Madrid, which will be served three times a week. In total, the company will fly to 17 destinations to and from Bratislava in the summer season. Moreover, the winter season should see yet another route added as of October. Ryanair passengers will be able to fly to Berlin on a daily basis.
31. Mar 2015 at 7:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff