National Express is further strengthening its position in the airport market as its recent link-up with Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, proves a flyaway success.
Record booking levels have already been achieved following the tie up between the UK’s largest coach operator and Ryanair, with thousands of tickets already sold.
The deal enables travellers to book airport coach transfers at the same time as booking their flight on Ryanair.com, as well as onboard every Ryanair aircraft.
Thanks to the partnership, National Express connections are available to all Ryanair passengers travelling to and from Luton, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports, allowing easy onward travel before or after a flight.
To date, a high proportion of bookings have been sold to inbound travellers, bringing affordable UK coach travel to a bigger market than ever before.
Major events, including the Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, for which Ryanair is laying on 23 extra flights, are also providing additional opportunities.
Already, National Express has put on hundreds of extra seats to cope with demand from German football fans, and it is poised to add more as necessary.
Jonathan Pollard, National Express’ Head of Sales and Business Development said: “We are delighted to see our partnership with Ryanair is proving such a flyaway success. National Express operate millions of passenger journeys to and from UK airports each year, with 24/7 services running directly to the airport terminals. This partnership means it’s now simpler than ever for holidaymakers and business travellers to book affordable airport travel. It comes as no surprise that a partnership between the largest scheduled coach operator and largest airline in Europe has proved so successful since launch.”
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “Since launching in March, Ryanair’s partnership with National Express has been a huge success, with thousands of passengers travelling not only on the lowest airfares, but availing of affordable coach travel both on the Ryanair.com website and onboard Ryanair flights operating to and from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted and Manchester Airport.”
Currently, a third of the National Express network operates to airports, with services operating 24/7. There were in excess of five million passenger journeys to airports in 2012.