Ryanair is expanding its operations and will be creating about 1,000 jobs at airports in Manchester, Liverpool and the East Midlands. Airline boss Michael O’Leary says that the carrier is “growing like gangbusters”, and he hopes to carry an additional one million passengers from 2013. These passengers are projected to come from nine new routes at these airports.
This expansion will see two new Ryanair planes added to its Manchester and East Midlands operations. Additionally, 360 new jobs will be created at Manchester, 180 at Liverpool and 460 at East Midlands. O’Leary says the positions will include pilots, cabin crew, handling staff, engineers and baggage workers. They hope to fill the positions by next summer.
Ryanair’s success comes at a time when other airlines are having a difficult time with tough trading conditions. O’Leary says this is because of the company basing its strategy on positioning some bigger planes at regional airports across the UK, instead of at London. People don’t want to travel down to Heathrow Airport but want to fly from local airports. Manchester is one of their biggest growing bases, and they will have five new routes offered from the airport next summer. Two new routes will be offered from Liverpool and another two from East Midlands.
Tim McDermott, the director of operations for East Midlands Airport, says that it’s always great news for an airline to operate a new services from their airport. When bmibaby pulled its operations last year, that had a big hit on the airport. They have been working with several new carriers to bring new services to the region and backfill the services they lost – including Flybe, Jet2.com and Monarch Airlines. However, he questioned the number of positions that the expansion will create, as it’s hard to pinpoint the jobs that will be needed.
Manchester Airport and East Midlands Airport are both operated by the Manchester Airports Group. Charlie Cornish, the group’s chief executive, says the announcement from Ryanair is a sign of the carrier’s continued confidence in the airports and willingness to expand its services for passengers. They want to work with airlines to increase their services. This expansion represents the kind of growth opportunities they are actively looking for in the market.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is operated by Peel Airports. The group’s chief executive, Craig Richmond, says the expansion is great news for the airport and region. They are thrilled with the carrier’s latest commitment to increase its operations from Liverpool. This will give holidaymakers more choice next year and give the local economy a boost of more visitors in the city and North West.
The Manchester Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Ryanair’s growth at the city’s airport as well. Research manager Christian Spence said the expansion could give the tourism, retail and hospitality industries a boost and result in more investment in these communities. The aviation sector contributes much to the economy, and it’s encouraging that the private sector is investing in regional airports.
Travelsupermarket.com travel expert Bob Atkins says that any airline network expansion is great for consumers in the UK, as it gives them more destination options, as well as the number of carriers they can choose from to get them there. The creation of jobs is great for both the UK and the points of arrival, as it means people are able to find employment or continue working for the company through the expansion.