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Ryanair introduces 29 new routes to Spain

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Ryanair introduces 29 new routes to Spain
Michael O' Leary announced the new routes on Tuesday. Photo: Ryanair España
17:31 CET+01:00
Budget airline Ryanair has announced 29 routes from Spain for the summer, and an increase in the frequency of existing routes, boosting destinations available from Valencia, Alicante and Seville.

New links available for Winter 2018 will include destinations in Italy, Portugal, France. Germany, Morocco, Hungry, Poland and the UK as well as domestic routes linking Seville to Alicante and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

Seville will see new destinations of Bristol. Cagliari (Sardinia), Catania (Sicily), Malta, Edinburgh, Luxemburg, Nantes (France), Rabat and Tanger (Morocco) and Venice Treviso (Italy), each with two flights weekly.

Ryanair will also introduce flights between Seville and Oporto, Alicante and Fuerteventura.

READ: Ryanair drops airfares to Catalonia over secession crisis 

Barcelona will get a new route to Valletta in Malta, which will run four times a week and Valencia will see flights to Burgundy (France), Cagliari (Sardinia) Palermo (Sicily) and to the Moroccan destinations of Fez and Tangiers. It will also see weekly flights to Bristol.

New routes will also open between Palma de Mallorca to Milan, Bergamo and Rome Ciampino (Italy) and Düsseldorf Weeze (Germany); from Tenerife South to Milan Malpensa, and Gran Canaria to Venice Treviso.

Alicante flights will now include routes to Bologna (Italy), Gdansk (Poland) and Newquay in Cornwall (UK), and an additional connection will run from Santander, Cantabria to Budapest (Hungary).

The additional routes mean the Irish airline will now operate 500 routes from Spanish airports, with a total of 41.5 million passengers are expected to fly through 26 airports in Spain every year from summer 2018.

The low-cost airline has been locked in a battle with its pilots over working conditions and pay rises that saw hundreds of flights cancelled last year.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday. Ryanair chief Michael O´Leary
accused Spain's main pilots' union of blocking an agreement on pay rises as the low-cost airline negotiates to recognise unions in Spain and elsewhere.

 O'Leary said Spain, which provides Ryanair with 27 percent of its traffic,"is very important for us, which is why we want to do an agreement with Sepla (the union)."

Speaking to reporters in Madrid, he insisted Ryanair was going to recognise
Spanish unions.

"We are serious about it and we want them to be equally serious with us,"he said.

But "we wrote two letters (in January), offering them a recognitionagreement and a 20 percent salary raise for the Spanish pilots".

"Sepla has not replied to those letters and so the 20 percent increase forpilots is late."   

He added that Ryanair would now write directly to pilots to propose theraise, "while we continue to try to finalise the agreement with Sepla."    

Sepla retorted that the airline had posed as a condition for the raise thatRyanair designate the staff representative who negotiates on behalf of fellow pilots.

The union rejects this, wanting to choose the representative themselves.   

It also wants so-called contractors who fly for Ryanair but aren't directemployees to be integrated into the airline as such, so that they too can get union representation and benefits such as maternity leave.   

"We're not going to leave half our colleagues out of negotiations," it saidin a statement.

Sepla has also decided to take legal action against Ryanair to force it togive its pilots Spanish contracts. 

O'Leary retorted "legal action would take months or years to resolve."

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