Ryanair expands in Poland, slaps Warsaw airports investments
On September 5, 2018, Ryanair announced winter 2019 schedule, announcing 17 new routes in Poland. The Irish low cost carrier used the occasion to not only talk about Poland’s growing aviation market, but also slap Warsaw Chopin airport for “unfair and unlawful” competition.
The airline expects that adding additional capacity will allow it to achieve 12,5 million passengers on their 210 routes though “Ryanair’s 13 Polish airports” next year. The carrier also prognoses Poland’s air traffic growth of 4%.
However, it seems that for Ryanair not everything is going smoothly in Poland. The carrier’s CEO Michael O’Leary criticizes competition between Warsaw’s Chopin and Modlin airports. The latter, located 40 km north of Wasaw’s city centre, is the fifth busiest airport in the country – and served by Ryanair. However, O’Leary believes the airport is being “blocked” by unfair competition circumstances in favour of Chopin.
"Meanwhile, Ryanair hopes to double its traffic at Warsaw Modlin Airport from 3m to 6m customers p.a., which will create 2,250 new jobs in and around Modlin in the next five years, however the growth and development of Modlin is being unfairly and unlawfully blocked by the competing Chopin Airport and its owners, PPL,” O’Leary said. “Ryanair has already lodged a complaint with the EU and has also made a written offer to co-finance or invest in any new infrastructural development at Modlin needed to allow it to grow and offer low fare choice and competition to high cost Warsaw Chopin airport.”
Ryanair’s boss is critical of not only the lack of investment in Modlin, but also to the country’s investment into a new central airport, 45 km from Warsaw. The $9.4 billion project is “stupid”, O’Leary told Bloomberg, and the money should rather be used improving the two existing Warsaw’s airports “whose capacities aren’t fully used”.
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