Dublin-based Ryanair expects a growth of 10 percent in the Greek market next year, the carrier’s chief commercial officer, David O’Brien, informed on Monday, during a press conference for the airline’s Athens summer schedule for 2016.
Mr. O’Brien said that the percentage of the carrier’s planned growth would be higher if the Greek government had accepted the company’s proposals, which included Ryanair launching its 2016 flight program early — during the off-season — under the condition that airport taxes would be dropped.
However, he said that the government never replied to any of the airline’s proposals.
According to Mr. O’Brien, the Athens schedule will annually deliver some 1.8 million customers and support 1,350 “on-site” jobs at Athens International Airport.
Ryanair on privatization of regional airports: A bad idea
During the press conference, Mr. O’Brien warned about upcoming hikes at Greece’s regional airports after the completion of the privatization process and criticized the government’s attitude towards tourism, which contributes some 20 percent to the country’s GDP.
Mr. O’Brien said that a private monopoly will only increase costs at the regional airports and ultimately have a negative impact on Greek tourism.
He also said that private parties will only focus on the three-month summer season and added that the government should have launched a bid with the increase in passenger traffic as a prerequisite.
According to data presented at the press conference, Ryanair holds 16 percent of the market share in Greece and is ranked second following Aegean Airlines. By 2024, Ryanair expects to have 520 aircraft.