Earlier this year budget carrier Ryanair announced that Birmingham airport was to become its 25th European base and last week the airline confirmed that nine new routes would be operated from the airport, starting in October. This is in addition to the routes which have been operating from Birmingham since April this year.
The routes announced last week are to Alicante, Derry, Fuerteventura, Katowice, Kaunas, Krakow, Palma, Malaga and Murcia. There are also rumours that a tenth route to Prague will be introduced, running five times a week and starting in late October.
The airline sees great potential at Birmingham and hopes that passenger numbers will hit 5 million a year in five years’ time. Business Development Director at Birmingham, Peter Vella, sees Ryanair’s involvement as a great move for passengers in the area, giving them “greater choice and flexibility”, whether they are business or leisure travellers. In addition 5,000 jobs will be created as a result.
Not everyone, however, is delighted by the news, with environmental campaigners warning of the potential for a huge increase in carbon dioxide emissions, just at a time when we should all be doing our best to reduce emissions. Chris Williams of the Birmingham branch of Friends of the Earth is reported as saying that the cost of a Ryanair flight is far too cheap and does not reflect the cost to the environment or to people’s health.
To celebrate its announcement the airline has been offering bargain fares of only £5 each way to thirty five thousand customers. This fare includes taxes and charges, the items which often used to add up to making Ryanair’s fares seem less of a bargain.