Low-cost Irish carrier group Ryanair has announced that it will reopen its base at Copenhagen Airport (CPH), with its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) wearing a themed outfit for the occasion.
Dressed in a Denmark-themed t-shirt plus a Viking helmet, Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair Group, announced that Ryanair will place two aircraft at CPH from the winter 2023 season onwards.
“We already operate 20 routes from Copenhagen Airport but they are all on aircraft that are based elsewhere,” O’Leary said in a video shared on X, adding that the pair of Boeing 737s will fly out from CPH starting early December 2023.
According to Ryanair’s release, the resurrected base will create 100 direct pilot, cabin crew and engineering jobs in the Danish capital, where the airline is already the third largest in terms of its market size on flights from/to CPH.
The Irish low-cost carrier also has a two-aircraft base at Billund Airport (BLL), Denmark, known for its close proximity to Legoland.
O’Leary pointed out that the base “represents a further $200m investment by Ryanair in the recovery of air traffic and tourism in Copenhagen” which is lagging behind its pre-pandemic levels. “Ryanair believes this is because of the high airport fees and the high fares being charged by NAS and SAS, which hampers recovery of Danish traffic and tourism,” the Irish executive said.
He noted: “Ryanair looks froward to continued growth and investment in Denmark as soon as the Danish Regulator makes a decision to lower airport fees at Copenhagen Airport,” adding that lower fees would be passed down to passengers in the form of lower fares.
Ryanair first opened a base at CPH in October 2014, which became the 70th base on its network. However, the situation did not last long, as the low-cost carrier relocated the base to Kaunas Airport (KUN), Lithuania in July 2014, when local Danish unions looked to strike against the airline.
“John Dybart of the Danish unions this week claimed that ‘Ryanair was bluffing’ when we threatened to close the whole Copenhagen base,” Eddie Wilson, the CEO of the airline Ryanair, said at the time. “Perhaps now he will realise that the Danish economy and the Danish unions cannot succeed by forcing Danish jobs overseas,” Wilson continued, as reported by Denmark’s The Local.