Friday, 3 December 2010

Ryanair stops taking reservations from end of March for its Girona (Barcelona) routes

Passengers looking to book a flight out of Girona-Barcelona (GRO) with Ryanair for travel dates beyond 30th March are coming across this:

As Catalan daily Avui has pointed out, there are two possible reason why this is happening while bookings from the other Barcelona-area airports where Ryanair operates, Reus (REU) and Barcelona-El Prat (BCN), are working fine
Either it has something to do with ongoing negotiations to keep Ryanair at GRO or, the official version, the Irish company is still defining its summer flight schedule.

On one hand and as my article of a few days ago at AirObserver pointed out, Ryanair's recent arrival at BCN strengthens its negotiating power bis a bis the Catalan authorities. The current agreement between Ryanair and the local authorities expires at the end of the year 2011 and it seems that Ryanair has been asking for 12 million euros to renew it.

This happens at a time when these same authorities seem less keen on more money handouts and risk getting caught in a "subsidies war" with other local airlines (see AirObserver's post on this too). Blocking flight reservations could be a way to send a strong signal and an important power gesture...

On the other hand, Ryanair has just opened routes to destinations from GRO, such as Larnaca (Cyprus).

So possibly there was a combination of the two factors at play, negotiation strategy and route planning. In any case, while I finish to write this post I read that sources of the Catalan government have confirmed that an agreement has been reached to keep Ryanair operating at Girona airport (although has not yet been ratified due to last week's parliamentary election in Catalonia). I am waiting for more details...


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ryanair, I recently found out about a pretty serious expansion where the company will set up as many as 35 new routes, bringing their total to 112. The numbers, I got from here:, and was wondering whther or not you knew whether this is in fact, true. Just seems a bit drastic of an expansion given the current economic conditions. But definitely glad to hear about the ski routes, but as a skier, I could be biased. Not sure whether the economic gains will cover this portion of the expansion.

Anyway, appreciate the post!

Allplane: all about aviation, airlines and air travel said...

This expansion is for real, besides the fact that they possibly managed to get a good deal with the islands authorities and institutions, another factor to consider is how many tourists currently arrive to the Canaries by charter flights in packaged holidays. If the trend towards customization and independent travel planning continues (I don't see why it shouldn't continue given the increasing number of online tools and choices travelers have) then Ryanair can possibly take part of this market as it has done in the European mainland. In any case, this is something I am going to have a closer look into (something on ski routes and airports is definitely on the agenda for this Winter too!)

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