For the past two decades, Ryanair has been a crucial player in the Spanish tourism industry, connecting and contributing to the growth of local economies.
A pioneer in introducing new Spanish destinations to travellers, it is the number one airline in Spain, carrying 50 million passengers a year before COVID-19. The Irish company is committed to growing in Spain, which is why it has opened Labs in Madrid and an aircraft maintenance centre in Seville.
Ryanair is increasing the workforce at its Madrid Lab. What initiatives are being rolled out from its technology workshop?
Ryanair's Travel Labs are cutting-edge digital and IT innovation centres that work to develop and improve our customers' travel experience as Europe's leading airline. We have a team of digital innovation experts that focus on emerging technologies, and with a passion for driving digital transformation, in a collaborative and fast-developing environment, as we strive to implement new technologies to improve our business and customer experience.
What is the role of these centres in the company's development and what is the contribution of the centres in Spain?
Madrid is one of the leading tech capitals in the world, with some highly-qualified professionals, and this is why we are recruiting the best and most talented professionals from Madrid to join our team with a mission: to revolutionise the travel industry.
Ryanair has grown significantly in a short time in Spain. What have been the keys to its success?
With a low cost model, Ryanair has democratised and revolutionised the way of travelling in Spain and Europe, offering low fares and a wide range of routes with higher levels of punctuality and customer satisfaction.
Over the past two decades, Ryanair has pioneered the introduction of Spanish destinations that were previously off the radar, in addition to traditional summer enclaves, and leading millions of tourists to discover all that Spain has to offer in terms of diversity and tourism products, as well as its fantastic climate, food and people. Ryanair has in addition worked hard to guarantee the availability of its flights throughout the year, addressing the specific seasonal differences in each region.
We are proud of our experience in Spain and of our great contribution to the Spanish economy, with an investment of more than 7 billion euros in aircraft based in Spain. Ryanair currently employs more than 2,000 permanent workers and maintains more than 38,000 indirect jobs across the country. We continue to make our commitment to growing at Spanish airports, while we continue to hire new professionals for our Madrid Labs and our aircraft maintenance centre in Seville, where we currently have new positions open and waiting to be filled by excellent Spanish professionals.
Ryanair has led the Spanish airline industry over the past few years. How has the pandemic affected the company and what are its expectations for 2021?
Last year was the most difficult in Ryanair's 35-year history. The COVID-19 pandemic left our fleet grounded for nearly four months as EU governments imposed flight restrictions, travel restrictions and lockdowns. Ryanair responded quickly to this crisis, working hard to offer help to customers and implementing comprehensive health measures to protect both our customers and our staff. We now expect a strong recovery in travel as vaccination campaigns continue to progress successfully across Europe and travel restrictions are lifted, coinciding with the peak summer season.
What are the company's expansion plans in the Spanish market?
Ryanair is a key player in the recovery of the tourism industry and connectivity in Spain. We are therefore delighted to offer 2,500 weekly flights on 600 routes in Spain this summer, which will help boost domestic air traffic, as well as the recovery of tourism and local employment. We are in addition very proud this summer to offer the largest schedule of domestic flights in Spain in our history, with more than 70 domestic routes.
We remain committed to investing and growing in Spain and hope that Aena and the Spanish government will follow the example of other European countries, which are already working with airlines to stimulate air traffic. At Ryanair, we believe it is time for Aena to reduce its fees and introduce long-term traffic recovery incentives to stimulate the recovery of local economies and jobs destroyed as a result of the pandemic.
What are the most profitable routes in Spain?
Ryanair is the number one airline in Spain, carrying 50 million passengers a year before COVID-19. For almost 20 years, Ryanair has been a crucial player in the Spanish tourism industry, connecting and contributing to the growth of local Spanish economies, such as Malaga, Santiago, Seville, Alicante and Girona, among many other destinations in Spain. We are pleased with the performance of our route network in Spain and look forward to expanding our range of destinations as we emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and new business opportunities arise.
How will Ryanair help revive tourism in Spain?
At a time when competing airlines have significantly cut their capacity or have gone bankrupt, Ryanair is the airline that is best positioned to revive its activity in Spain, as we expect an order for 210 new Boeing Gamechanger aircraft, allowing us to offer lower fares to our customers and take advantage of the numerous growth opportunities, expecting to reach 200 million passengers in 2026.