It’s been a good two years since Ryanair gave up its base at Nuremberg Airport, and now the low-cost airline is increasing its numbers significantly at Franken Airport: the Irish group will be stationing two aircraft at Albrecht Dürer Airport in the future, and the company then wants a total of 85 weekly departures to offer. The offensive is being received quite positively: it raises hopes of more jobs, more travelers coming to the region, more money leaving there. Mayor Marcus König (CSU) is happy about the “good news”, Bavaria’s Minister of Finance Albert Füracker (CSU) sees a “strong signal of upswing” and Airport Manager Michael Hupe assures that Ryanair will “significantly enrich” the route network, especially for holiday trips. There is talk of 200 million euros that the Irish company is investing, and the base is to generate 13 new flight routes, for example to Girona in Catalonia, to Valencia, Ibiza, Venice or Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina. With 27 destinations, Ryanair will then become the biggest player at the airport, although the Irish have never really been completely gone. Recently there were also Nuremberg flights without a base, only temporarily reduced by more than half. Like all airports, Nuremberg is also struggling with considerable losses due to Corona. Only 1.1 million people flew last year, in 2020 it was 16 percent less. In 2019, before Corona, the number was significantly higher, at 4.1 million. The fact that nine out of ten flight connections were canceled at times, employees had to work short-time, and the economic damage grew and grew was a previously unimaginable scenario. The fact that Ryanair had given up Nuremberg as a base was a setback even before the pandemic, at the end of 2019. At the time, the airline had given delayed plane deliveries as the reason. Ryanair had relied on the Boeing 737 Max, a machine that was classified as unsafe and time-consuming because of two fatal crashes. Now the hopes in Nuremberg are mainly on summer business and that families will fly on vacation. The core business is above all Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Bookings are currently “very, very good,” said Ryanair spokesman Andreas Grube on Thursday at a press conference in Nuremberg. And at the same time, the situation is volatile, bookings are difficult to predict until the summer, says airport boss Hupe. During the pandemic, travelers had often delayed bookings because the regulations for entry and exit were constantly changing. Also, booked flights were often simply not taken, says Hupe. Ryanair wants to help revitalize the airport, which has been hit by Corona, but the reason is not necessarily the preference for Franconian. As became known last week, the group is withdrawing its base at Frankfurt Airport because the take-off and landing fees there have become too expensive for the Irish. Ryanair is now distributing its machines to other airports and Nuremberg is one of the locations that charge significantly lower fees. Ryanair promises 60 direct jobs for Franconia, jobs for pilots, for example. However, it is unclear whether some crew members from Frankfurt will also be moving to Nuremberg. One wants to keep all 150 colleagues from there in the group, emphasizes Ryanair spokesman Gruber on Thursday. It is therefore questionable whether 60 jobs will really jump out for Nuremberg. Indirect jobs would be created automatically, says Gruber, almost 1000 in the entire region, in the taxi trade, the hotel industry or gastronomy. A pat on the back comes from the mayor, who hopes that not only will people fly away from the metropolitan region with the additional flight connections, but above all that they will also come from abroad. In the best case, also in winter to the Christkindlesmarkt, which has always been internationally popular – and will hopefully take place again next year.Open detailed viewAt the airport in Nuremberg, people are now hoping for summer business and, above all, for families who go on vacation by plane. (Photo: Daniel Karmann/dpa) From the end of March, Ryanair will be the largest provider at Albrecht Dürer Airport with a market share of around 30 percent in passenger traffic, thus displacing Corendon, a Turkish holiday line, which is around 23 percent. Other lines such as KLM and Air France primarily serve the business segment. Vueling, Wizz-Air or Sun Express, like Ryanair, are also holiday providers. Airport boss Hupe attaches particular importance to a mix of represented airlines on Thursday: The nationwide Air Berlin decline in 2017 hit Nuremberg particularly hard, the airline once held a market share there 58 percent of the passenger volume. When Air Berlin went bankrupt, the take-off and landing fees and many connections collapsed, jobs were lost and the whole region was ultimately affected by the airport. Despite the significant losses caused by the pandemic, Ryanair is still considered highly profitable and Europe’s largest low-cost airline. The airline has brought travelers from Spain, for example from Valencia, to Nuremberg in the past, says Airport Manager Hupe. Air Berlin did not succeed.
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