Ryanair aims to double its activity on the Polish market growing rapidly and expanding throughout theEastern Europe over the next decade, thus attacking its rival Wizz Air already well established in this region.
As part of its strategy, Ryanair, whose low fares have allowed it to dominate markets in Ireland, Italy and much of Western Europe, aims to strengthen its presence at airports across Europe from the east. The Irish low-cost airline already operates from more than a dozen Polish airports, including nine permanent bases, its CEO Michael O’Leary told the agency Reuters. It often negotiates special deals to obtain lower airport charges – crucial in the fight to keep costs and fares low.
“Whenever we deal with Wizz Air, we tend to offer significantly lower fares and have much lower costs“, explained Michael O’Leary, citing Albania as an example, where Ryanair plans to open 25 new routes this winter to take on Wizz Air in its Eastern European heartland.
For its part, the Hungarian company Wizz Air intends to remain leader in Eastern Europe. It plans to operate at least twice as many planes as it currently has in central and eastern Europe by 2038 and is expected to soon announce 35 new planes in Poland alone, Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said at the agency Reuters. “We’re looking at double-digit year-over-year growth over the next seven or eight years.” in the region, he added.
Eastern European countries are attractive markets for low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air: regulatory requirements are lighter, environmental scrutiny is less thorough and rail connections are poor. Ryanair currently operates 64 aircraft based in Eastern Europe and plans to deploy around 180 of the 400 new 737 MAX planes it has ordered from aircraft manufacturer Boeing there over the next eight years, CEO Michael O said. ‘Leary.