Ryanair has been forced to drop one of its year-round services from Shannon this winter because of a ‘lack of aircraft capacity’ even though the airline will still ground 50 planes for the season.
Last July, the low cost carrier announced a significant expansion of its winter schedule at Shannon Airport including a year-round weekly service to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
The company has now said it regrets it has to drop the route but will operate a weekly service to the neighbouring island of Tenerife. Another island, Lanzarote, will be serviced by both Ryanair and Aer Lingus during the winter months.
Despite planning to ground around 50 aircraft this winter, Ryanair is citing a lack of aircraft availability for axing the Fuerteventura service. In contrast, airline had to lease seven additional aircraft last summer to meet demand.
In 2013, the airline grounded up to 80 aircraft during the winter period after opting to keep the jet’s on the ground to save money during what is usually it’s quietest time of the year.
Last winter however the company grounded fewer planes, just 50 if it’s almost 300-strong fleet, as it implemented a plan to pursue business travellers during that quieter winder period. The airline has confirmed that it will ground around 50 aircraft this winter (2015/16).
“Due to a lack of aircraft capacity, we regret that our Shannon-Fuerteventura route will not operate for winter 2015/16. However, we will operate a weekly service to Tenerife as part of this schedule.
“Our aircraft capacity will increase as we continue to take delivery of our 180 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft order,” the airline added.
“We have announced firm orders for a further 180 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and firm orders for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 200 aircraft, with options for 100 more Boeing 737 MAX 200,” a spokeswoman said.
Currently Ryanair has 320 Boeing 737-800 in it’s expanding fleet making it the second largest operator of this aircraft type in the world.
A Shannon Airport spokesman said: “For winter season 2015/16 Ryanair is swapping Fuerteventura for the more popular Tenerife island. This service will operate on a Saturday whilst Lanzarote will be operated on Saturday and Sunday by Aer Lingus and Ryanair respectively.”
“We are very pleased to welcome back this very popular winter sun destination for our forthcoming winter season,” the airport said.