• Sweden edition
 
Ryanair in major Skavsta expansion

Ryanair in major Skavsta expansion

Published: 14 Jun 2007 09:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jun 2007 09:12 GMT+02:00

Low-cost airline Ryanair has announced a major expansion at Stockholm Skavsta airport, in a bid to rub salt in the wounds of strike-hit SAS. The airline plans to launch 13 new routes to European cities, including Liverpool, Berlin and Valencia.

The destinations were announced in Stockholm on Thursday by the company's flamobyant chief executive Michael O'Leary, who was dressed in a Viking outfit for the occasion.

The Irish airline is launching routes to Alicante, Basel, Berlin, Bratislava, Eindhoven, Baden Baden, Liverpool, Malta, Pisa, Oporto, Salzburg Trapani and Valencia.

Eleven of the routes will be launched in October, with Trapani launched in November and Salzburg in December.

Once he had removed his Viking garb, O'Leary expanded on the company's plans at a press conference in central Stockholm.

The company is extending its fleet by purchasing two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which it will base at Skavsta. The planes, costing $140 million, will expand Ryanair's Skavsta fleet to a total of six aircraft.

With the new flights, Ryanair will operate 28 routes in all from its Swedish base.

"This is another great day for Ryanair in Sweden," said O'Leary.

The chief executive was quick to praise the roles of Nyköping municipality and Skavsta Airport in securing the new deal.

Skavsta chief Dot Gade Kulovuori - introduced by O'Leary as "the most beautiful airport manager in Sweden" - was upbeat about the expansion.

"We will strive to keep on being one of your favourite airports and bases," she said.

O'Leary responded by outlining Ryanair's plans to "double in size" at Skavsta in the next few years.

Asked how Ryanair intended maintaining profitability in a period of expansion, the airline chief put a Swedish slant on the company's modus operandi.

"We are the IKEA of the airline industry. We will keep expanding through lower prices all the time", said O'Leary.

To illustrate the point, O'Leary pointed out that the company aims to release 100,000 tickets at 220 kronor each to coincide with the expansion.

Rival airline SAS was treated to a torrent of abuse by the Ryanair chief.

"Ryanair's low-price flights from Skavsta have been a tremedous success because Swedish passengers can't stand SAS's high prices and frequent strikes," O'Leary said.

On the issue of strikes, O'Leary also managed to slip in a quick jab at one of his long-time bugbears - trade unions.

"We have never had a strike in 20 years because we don't have somebody in the middle telling us lies," said O'Leary, adding that cabin crew at the airline had directly negotiated a 20 percent pay rise over the next four years.

SAS on the other hand was characterized as an airline troubled by regular industrial action and "going nowhere".

The restructuring plans announced by the Scandinavian airline on Wednesday were treated with scorn.

"Despite all the mumbo jumbo, what SAS are effectively saying is that they are going to jack up fares again. It is interesting that whenever they have things they want to say, dropping prices is never one of them," said O'Leary.

Speculating on the future of the airline industry, the chief executive predicted that SAS would eventually be swallowed up by Lufthansa and that the European market would consist of "four large airline groups" in ten years' time: Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and Ryanair.

O'Leary also revealed that Ryanair's growth in Sweden is not going to be limited to existing airports such as Skavsta and Malmö.

"We have been talking to four or five additional airports in Sweden," said O'Leary.

He would not divulge the location of these airports except to say that "most of them are north of Stockhom".

As for rumours of a move into the transatlantic market, O'Leary said that this would not happen using Ryanair's name.

"But it is possible that we will set up a sister company flying eight or ten transatlantic routes," he said.

While it was possible that Sweden could provide one of the bases for such a move, there were no indications that this would happen any time soon.

"We will wait maybe until the next big crisis in the airline industry, then buy up a cheap fleet of aircraft," said O'Leary.

After 45 minutes it was time for Michael O'Leary and Nordic chief Wilhelm Hamilton to leave.

"We have to be out of here. We're on a very expensive SAS flight to Copenhagen," said O'Leary.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
The search and rescue operation in northern Sweden. File photo: TT

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality". READ () »

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms. READ () »

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock
The Flymen Church weathercock in all its newly gilded glory. Photo: TT

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock. READ () »

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Per Bolund of The Greens. File photo: TT

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more. READ () »

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'
Ibiza, you say? File photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

Mythbusting Swedish researchers have found no link between gushing about your upcoming holiday online and returning to an emptied house. They told The Local that a trip to Ikea could be much more dangerous. READ () »

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

745
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com