”We’d like to start flying domestic flights in Scandinavia. The problem we face is that many airports are owned by the state, which is eager to support SAS, and therefore charge high rates. But I think this will be changing soon,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in an interview with Swedish news agency Direkt.
Currently the company operates at seven airports in Sweden and according to Direkt they are in negotiations with an additional seven.
In total, Ryan Air flies to 14 destinations in Scandinavia and has two hubs, one in Skavsta, south of Stockholm and another near Oslo (Oslo-Rygge) in Norway.
The company is hoping to have established 3-4 more Scandinavian destinations within a year’s time.
One or two are expected to be located in Sweden, in the north or central parts of the country. Ryanair is planning to begin negotiations with the airports within a few weeks.
“We’ll consider it a great success if we have one or two more airports by summer 2012,“ O’Leary told daily Aftonbladet.
According to O’Leary, Scandinavia and Central Europe are the regions within which the company is mostly looking to expand.
The turbulence on the financial market in recent months has worked in the airline’s favour, according to O’Leary.
“The recession has been good for us. It has made us grow faster,” he said referring to customers being more likely to choose a low cost alternative during times of financial trouble.