British Airways today announced its intention to withdraw three further routes from Ireland in addition to the services from Cork and Shannon which were withdrawn last year. The airline announced that it would close its routes from Dublin to Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and Southampton in March next year.
This is the latest evidence that British Airways is unable to compete with Ryanair’s low fares. On the Dublin-Bristol route, Ryanair’s market share is currently 80% to British Airways 20%, and in the case of the Newcastle and Southampton routes, British Airways is unable to match either Ryanair’s fares or passenger numbers from Dublin to Middlesborough/Teesside and Bournemouth airports.
Responding to this news Ryanair, Europe’s only low fares airline today announced the inauguration of a daily service from Dublin to Newcastle commencing on Saturday 4th January 2003. All seats in the first month will be for sale at a special introductory fare of £9.99 one way (tax inclusive). This represents a discount of 91% on the British Airways one way fare.
Announcing the new service, Ryanair’s Commercial Director, Michael Cawley said: “Ryanair has been providing links between Dublin and the North East of England ever since its Teesside service started in 1997. Passenger numbers have increased ever year on this route and such has been its success that we are now announcing the inauguration of the a daily service from Newcastle to Dublin to offer our low fare services on an even wider basis across the North East of England.
“This service will offer low fares for the first time to Tynesiders and to those many thousands of Irish people who want to visit Newcastle and see the Magpies in action. British Airways may be gone from this route, but for the first time the people of Newcastle will be able to enjoy widely available low fares from Ryanair as their compatriots have at our 14 other airports throughout the UK.
To celebrate this announcement we are offering all seats for sale in January at the fantastic low fare of £9.99 one-way (tax inclusive).
Booking commences at 10.00am Wednesday 18th December.”