David O’Brien, Chief Commercial Officer, Ryanair tells TravTalk about the airline’s network plans in the region and beyond.
Q) Tell us about Ryanair operations around the world? Ryanair is Europe’s top airline, carrying over 130m customers per annum on more than 2,000 daily flights from 87 bases, connecting 211 destinations in 34 countries on a fleet of 430 Boeing 737 aircraft, with a further 240 Boeing 737’s on order. This will enable Ryanair to lower fares and grow traffic to 200m customers pa by FY24. In 2017, Ryanair became the first European airline to have carried over one billion customers. Ryanair operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, each with 189 alleconomy seats.
Q) How important is the Middle East market for Ryanair? The Middle East market is currently a small one for Ryanair, but is an important part of our network, and one we hope to develop in the coming years. We already operate a number of routes to Tel Aviv and Eilat (Ovda) in Israel.
Q) What was the reason to select Amman/Jordan?
Jordan is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world which is now open to new business and leisure travellers from 11 European countries on Ryanair’s low fares.
Q) Will you be looking to expand at any other Middle Eastern areas? Opening new routes is dependent on consumer demand, available aircraft capacity, a viable airport deal and required operational needs being met. Jordan and Israel must have Open Skies agreements with the EU, an important prerequisite as it means there are no restrictions on flights to/from the EU.
Q) Is there any loyalty programme launched with this new route? Ryanair does not offer any traditional loyalty programmes, but offers a range of discounts – including travel credits with Ryanair Rooms to all customers via their ‘MyRyanair’ accounts on our website. Ryanair expects to carry 138m customers across our entire network in FY19, including 500,000 to/from Jordan.