Spain’s Elche courts have ruled that restrictions against boarding passengers on foot at Alicante El Altet Airport must remain in place (Typically Spanish, 02-Aug-2011). Alicante said Ryanair may be able to board and disembark aircraft from the tarmac in the slower winter months, but the LCC would have to use aerobridges in summer. Ryanair argued that boarding procedures that are safe in winter are equally safe in summer and that AENA’s “test walk” carried out to assess the safety of boarding on foot was flawed. The court stated that the characteristics of the new terminal make it advisable, for safety reasons, to board the aircraft via the aerobridges.
Ryanair’s Alicante bid again turned down
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After suffering a protracted recession in 2009 to 2013, Spain's air travel market at last looks set to exceed its pre-crisis passenger numbers in 2016, albeit with something of an airline capacity glut. During the recession traffic was actually remarkably robust, thanks to buoyant inbound tourism and the growth of LCCs.
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Ryanair has been the largest airline by seats in Spain since 2013, the result of its own growth and also of second ranked Iberia's restructuring. IAG's other Spanish airline – the fast-growing Vueling – has been the country's number three ranked airline since 2010, pushing Air Europa into fourth. Madrid has remained Spain's largest airport, but Barcelona's growth has outpaced Madrid's. Spain's airport operator AENA is benefiting from double-digit growth this year, but airlines are suffering yield declines.
Ryanair: digital success raises ancillary target to 30% as it becomes the "Amazon of air travel"
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer, has said that its website aims to become the "Amazon of air travel". The airline that was built around selling seats on flights as cheaply as possible – and not much else – now wants to sell a much wider range of products and services. In Oct-2016 it launched its new accommodation service, Ryanair Rooms, and it plans Ryanair Holidays by next summer.
Now well into its third year, Ryanair's 'Always Getting Better' programme (abbreviated to 'AGB') has been a demonstrable success. Accompanied by a move to increase Ryanair's presence in primary airports, AGB has aimed to improve customer service and reinvigorate its digital interfaces. Since AGB was initiated in 2014 Ryanair's passenger numbers have returned to double-digit rates of growth, and load factor has gained more than 10ppts.