View Full Version : Ryanair to pull plug on Derry?

7th Sep 2001, 20:42
I found this on the front page of todays Derry Journal.

THE JOURNAL has learned that Ryanair, the low-cost airline, could pull the plug on its City of Derry Airport service if it can negotiate a deal with the owners of Belfast International Airport.
It was revealed this week that the company is putting together costings for launching a new 12-flights-a-day operation from Belfast International.
Industry sources say the "no-frills" operator has sought detailed bids from potential suppliers in the North and has indicated that it would be keen to establish services if it can negotiate a deal with TBI, the airport's owners.
No deal has yet been agreed between Ryanair and TBI but discussions between the two parties could cast some doubts over the low-cost operator's current operations at City of Derry Airport.
Last year the airline carried more than 125,000 passengers from City of Derry to London Stansted.
This year it expects this to increase to 160,000 people.
Ryanair claims to carry, on average, in the region of 10,000 passengers between Derry and London and, according to Michael O'Leary, the airline's chief executive, it is the second fastest growing airport for Ryanair in Ireland.
However, sources say Ryanair will not operate from two airports in the North and, if it secures a deal with TBI at Belfast International, it could relocate its Derry service to Belfast.
However, both Ryanair and the Derry airport's owners, Derry City Council, were playing down the speculation.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said that Belfast International was one of a number of airports that it was currently talking to.
She said: "At any one time, Ryanair is in discussions with more than 25 airports across Europe with a view to opening up new routes and developing existing services."
A spokesperson for Derry City Council says it continually meets with Ryanair chiefs to discuss the expansion of existing services and the introduction of new services at the Eglinton facility.
"We are pleased that Ryanair consider the route to be one of its most successful in Ireland with more than 10,000 passengers per months availing of the service," said the spokesperson.
The City Council also agreed with Ryanair's projection figures anticipating that the route will further expand to an estimated 160,000 passengers this year.
"The airline industry is highly competitive with low cost operators opening up new opportunities and challenges for airports," continued the spokesperson.
"We fully recognise that airlines will seek the best possible landing terms and City of Derry Airport strives to offer the most competitive rates.
NW attractive
"Ryanair has proved that the North West region is capable of generating large numbers of passengers which would be attractive to any airline."

Flyin' High
7th Sep 2001, 20:53
I would have thought they were completely different markets. FR is already operates from "neighbouring" airports, PIK/EDI, MAN/LBA, STN/LTN

So if they can see a market in Belfast they are unlikely to pull the Derry route, they may cut back slightly, but If they forecast growth and are not in dispute with Derry airport then It is unlikely.


8th Sep 2001, 00:25
I remember flying in there a couple of years ago as Capt of a 360 and their being reduced landing distances due WIP to lengthen the main runway especially for Ryanair's 737s!!
A bit bad them pulling out already after the airport investment put in !? :(

8th Sep 2001, 17:24
From what i've seen FR more or less fill 2 flights a day to STN. A large percentage of the SLF are from the bordering counties of the Republic. It takes a good hour to drive from LDY to BFS so I don't think FR could expect these passengers to follow them to BFS.

If, as it seems, FR have good loads out of LDY then why walk away? BFS has a different catchment area with both easy & Go routes to LTN & STN. I'm sure they could compete and add more destinations, perhaps to Brussels as I understand Sabena are considering pulling out.

9th Sep 2001, 19:40
....And with BMI set to move from BFS to BHD they might see an opportunity to pick up some of their London customers.

10th Sep 2001, 14:23
I sincerely hope that these rumours aren't true. The flight is vital for the Northwest and for Derry in particular.

I have been on the flight numerous times since it started and by and large the load factors were high.

Downwind Left26, you must have a following wind to get from LDY to BFS in an hour! :eek: Possible I suppose, but traffic has got brutal recently.

Flyin' High
10th Sep 2001, 21:28
Does any one know if the FR contract with Derry airport is due for renewal??

Could this be scaremonger tactics by either FR or the airport?

I would not have thougth there was any sense in losing markets by moving to BFS.

But since everyone else .. EZY and GO .... are going operating to BFS it may be an additional route.