Ryanair announces new Dublin-Brussels route

Thursday 21 August 2014 12.15
Ryanair will continue to fly to Brussels Charleroi despite now servicing the city's main airport
Ryanair will continue to fly to Brussels Charleroi despite now servicing the city's main airport

Ryanair has announced a new daily route between Dublin and Brussels Airport as part of its winter schedule.

The service – which will offer three flights per day from late October – will be in addition to Ryanair’s existing connection to Brussels Charleroi.

The airline also said its winter schedule would include new services between Dublin Airport and locations including Basel in Switzerland, Marrakesh in Morocco and Bucharest in Romania.

It also plans to increase the frequency on a number of its existing Dublin routes, including London Gatwick, Birmingham, Berlin, Rome and Warsaw.

The no frills airline has made an increased effort to attract business customers in recent months, including changes to its seating and baggage arrangements.

Ryanair to hold Cyprus Airways takeover talks

Meanwhile, Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary said he would travel to Cyprus today for talks with the government about the possible takeover of loss-making carrier Cyprus Airways.

Ryanair was among nearly 20 companies which last month submitted non-binding expressions of interest in the airline, now controlled by the Cypriot government.

The process is a preliminary step towards any eventual binding offer.

Mr O'Leary's announcement marked a change of approach as he had said last month that Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, was not particularly interested in acquiring the carrier.

"We are engaged in the process and hope something will come of it. It's a very political process down there," he told a news conference in Dublin, adding that any deal would be small relative to Ryanair's overall growth strategy.

Under his company's proposal, Cypriot Airways would retain its brand and operate under a separate air operator's certificate to Ryanair, he said.

The Irish airline will propose it could boost the airline's passenger numbers to three million a year from 600,000 currently, down 50% from peak, Mr O'Leary said.

He declined to give any further details.

Ryanair has only ever taken over one other airline, Buzz, which was absorbed into the Ryanair brand.

Cyprus Airways has struggled to survive against cheaper competitors and has been loss-making for years despite several attempts at a turnaround.
              
The airline has recently resorted to selling assets to stay afloat, including its slots at London's Heathrow airport.
              
It is also under scrutiny by the European Commission. Brussels is investigating terms of a €31.3 capital increase in early 2013, and a €73m rescue package by the Cypriot state in 2012 to establish whether it violated state aid rules.