Ryanair announced (26-Nov-2013) plans to open a new base at Rome Fiumicino Airport, with an initial six aircraft. The base will increase to 12 aircraft in Sep-2014. The carrier also announced the launch of the following routes on 18-Dec-2013 - see Route Changes Table for more information:
- Rome Fiumicino-Barcelona: Daily service. According to OAG, Alitalia and Vueling also operate on the route;
- Rome Fiumicino-Brussels: Twice daily service to launch on 27-Feb-2014. According to OAG, Alitalia and Brussels Airlines also operate on the route, with Vueling to launch service in Apr-2014;
- Rome Fiumicino-Catania: Five times daily service. According to OAG, Alitalia, Blu-Express and Meridiana also operate on the route;
- Rome Fiumicino-Lamezia Terme: Twice daily service. According to OAG, Alitalia also operates on the route;
- Rome Fiumicino-Palermo: Four times daily service. According to OAG, Alitalia, Blu-Express and easyJet also operate on the route.
Ryanair also plans to transition its six existing Italian domestic services from Rome Ciampino to Rome Fiumicino, allowing it "to add more international flights and more new routes to its schedule at Rome Ciampino." The carrier added: "Ryanair also confirmed that it will increase these daily frequencies if Alitalia cuts back. Ryanair has also offered to use its low fare flights to feed into Alitalia’s international network to/from Rome Fiumicino. Ryanair has for example offered to carry Alitalia passengers at one-way fares from just €50 which will enable Alitalia to significantly reduce the costs of its feed traffic on these domestic routes to Rome Fiumicino. Ryanair has also requested a meeting with Alitalia to examine any other opportunities which may exist for co-operating with and assisting Alitalia in its current restructuring." Ryanair COO Michael Cawley said: "This Fiumicino base will increase from 6 to 10 or 12 allocated aircraft from October 2014, when Ryanair takes delivery of its next new aircraft orders from Boeing. Since Ryanair is Italy’s No. 1 airline, it is important that we respond to our airport partners, who are looking to ensure that they have secure domestic routes and feed to/from Rome Fiumicino, particularly as Alitalia continues to restructure. Ryanair will guarantee that connectivity to Rome and to Southern Italy will be maintained regardless of Alitalia’s plans to reduce capacity on domestic routes. We hope Alitalia will take up our offer to co-operate with them, as we believe Ryanair’s new low fare domestic flights to Fiumicino can significantly assist Alitalia through the restructuring which is necessary to restore its profitability and secure the future of as many of Alitalia’s employees as possible. Ryanair believes that by offering to feed Alitalia’s international hub at Fiumicino and by searching for opportunities to work with and assist Alitalia in its turnaround, that we can help the new investors and the management of Alitalia to return that airline to profitability and viability." [more - original PR]