Sterling fills Ryanair’s shoes in Malmö

Danish low-cost airline Sterling is to start five new routes from Malmö, three months after Ryanair announced it was withdrawing from the southern Swedish airport.

Services to London, Nice, Florence, Barcelona and Alicante will be launched by Sterling, starting on 10th March next year.

The news means that Malmö Sturup will maintain its links to the British capital, Spain’s second city and the south of France after Ryanair’s routes to London, Barcelona and Marseilles are axed next month. The departure of Ryanair will bring about the end of flights to Dublin and Madrid.

Sterling already operates a large number of flights from Copenhagen Kastrup Airport and has recently been expanding rapidly from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo.

“We’re seeing huge demand for our flights out of Gothenburg and Stockholm, and the five daily flights we now operate between Malmö and Stockholm are doing very well,” said Sterling vice president Michael T. Hansen.

The move is a vindication for Malmö Airport after the shock departure of Ryanair. The airport faces fierce competition from Kastrup, which benefits from direct train and motorway links with Malmö.

“Sterling is a successful airline which fits in well with our expansion plans,” said Lennart Björk, Malmö Airport boss. He added that “the partnership between the region and Malmö Airport has given results which bode well for the future.”


Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

Ryanair's pilots in Sweden went on strike on August 10th, with several flights cancelled at Skavsta.

Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike
Ryanair flights cancelled on Friday at Skavsta Airport. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Pilots in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands also joined the 24-hour strike over demands for a collective labour agreement and better working conditions and representation.

In Sweden, around 40 Ryanair pilots were striking until midnight between Friday and Saturday.

“Today our members are on strike to demand their rights. For decades Ryanair has refused their employees basic labour rights most employees on the labour market take for granted, but here a strike is necessary to show the airline that it no longer can avoid treating its employees in a dignified manner,” Martin Lindgren, President of the Swedish Pilots' Union, said in a statement.

Twenty-two flights which were due to depart or travel to Skavsta Airport south of Stockholm on Friday.

The airport usually welcomes around 700 travellers for the first few departures of the day, but on Friday morning the building was almost completely empty, news agency TT reported.

“We want to again apologize to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes,” tweeted Ryanair.

Compensation can be claimed for some cancelled flights but it varies and depends on how much information was given in advance. For journeys under 1500km a maximum of €250 can be claimed (or €400 for flights between 1500 and 3,000km), but in the event that the airline directly warned passengers of their flight cancellation with 15 days' notice, there is no right to request economic compensation. More information can be found here