RYANAIR has announced what it calls its “biggest ever” Irish winter schedule, with 177 routes from Ireland now scheduled for winter 2022/23.
he program includes seven new routes, including winter services from Dublin to Lapland (Rovaniemi), Castellón, Genoa, Klagenfurt, Rome Fiumicino and Venice, as well as Cork to Newcastle.
“While this program offers plenty of choice, demand is growing rapidly, so customers should book their 22/23 winter getaways early to secure the lowest fares possible,” said Ryanair chief commercial officer Jason McGuinness.
The winter timetable, due to start in October, will follow Ryanair’s larger summer timetable from Dublin Airport, which has more than 20 more routes than the pre-pandemic summer of 2019.
As travel demand rebounds and government incentives have prompted airlines to increase their schedules, some airports are struggling to cope.
Crowds, staff shortages and recruitment delays have led to long queues at airports including Amsterdam Schiphol, Manchester and London Gatwick, and Dublin Airport has implemented a crisis plan after delays caused some 1,400 people to miss flights on May 29.
Dalton Philips, CEO of the DAA, which runs Dublin Airport, suggested cutting airline capacity could be a solution to the travel chaos.
“If people say ‘I want a 30 minute queue’ we need to do what other European airports are doing and reduce capacity,” he told the Sunday Independent.
“I don’t want to do that. We want people to catch their flights,” he added, although at peak times this could mean “people can queue for over an hour “.
Reducing capacity could ease pressure on airport and ground handling resources, but would also remove choice and potentially increase airfares.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport asked airlines to cancel flights over a busy weekend in April, while KLM temporarily halted ticket sales on Amsterdam flights due to problems at this airport.
Ryanair has not ruled out temporary capacity cuts from Dublin, although its leaders have also called on the armies to help airports in Ireland and the UK.
However, Aer Lingus said capacity reductions and temporary sales halts are not actions being considered at this time.
Celebrating its winter announcement, Ryanair has a seat sale, with fares starting at €19.99 on new routes for travel from October 2022 to March 2023.
The sale is available to book on ryanair.com until June 9.