Ryanair officially opened (01-Sep-2010) its newest (and 42nd) base at Barcelona El Prat Airport on 01-Sep-2010, with the carrier to base eight aircraft at the airport and operate 23 routes from the base. The carrier will operate more than 400 weekly services to/from the airport which is expected to result in 2.5 million passengers p/a. Ryanair’s El Prat routes will sustain 2,500 local jobs as well as 400 direct Ryanair jobs among pilots, cabin crew and engineers, according to the LCC. Celebrating the opening, the carrier released 500,000 seats priced at EUR6 for travel on select days across the carrier's network in Oct-2010. [more]
CEO Michael O’Leary said with the opening of the new base it would reduce the number of services from the UK and Ireland to Girona and Reus unless AENA reduced costs for operating from the small Spanish airports (thinkSPAIN, 01-Sep-2010). According to Mr O’Leary, Girona and Reus airports have similar running costs to Barcelona and Madrid. The carrier is currently in negotiations with AENA. Ryanair separately stated it plans to launch 12 new destinations from Madrid Barajas Airport this year, taking total destinations to 44 (Bloomberg, 01-Sep-2010).