Ryanair's summer schedule at Leeds Bradford Airport to include new flights to Barcelona, Paris and Zadar
Ryanair said it will also base an additional aircraft at the airport, which is a $100m incremental investment, to help it provide flights to more destinations.
As a result, Ryanair’s Leeds Bradford based fleet will increase to three aircraft, which supports 90 highly paid aviation jobs and 900 indirect jobs at Leeds Bradford airport.
Ryanair will operate more than 95 weekly flights for the summer of 2022 from Leeds Bradford, which is at least 10 than it operated during the pre pandemic summer of 2019.
The airline said the move will give Leeds Bradford’s holiday makers "an abundance of choice to top European destinations in France, Spain, and Croatia while also giving UK tourism a much needed boost after two lost summers".
The statement added: "In order to deliver even more growth and recovery in Leeds Bradford, Ryanair calls on the UK Government to fully abolish Airport Passenger Duty (APD) immediately for all travel.
"While the proposed cut is a step in the right direction, it is simply not enough. The UK Government missed an opportunity to kickstart tourism recovery, particularly for the summer of 2022, by delaying the reduction in APD until 2023. Since the cut applies only to domestic travel, it ignores the need to restore international connectivity which is fundamental for the growth of the UK economy and tourism.
Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness said: “As Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair is pleased to deliver our Leeds Bradford schedule with one additional based aircraft for summer 2022 ($100m incremental investment).
"Ryanair’s Leeds Bradford based fleet will increase to three aircraft ($300m total investment). This larger fleet will deliver 23 routes in total, including three new routes to exciting destinations such as Paris, Barcelona, and Zadar along with increased frequencies to holiday favourites such as Faro and Tenerife.
"Efficient operations and competitive airport charges provide the foundation from which Ryanair can deliver long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity. We worked closely with our partners in Leeds Bradford airport to secure this growth and improve the services for those that live, work, or wish to visit the region.
"Ryanair now calls on the UK Government to further support this traffic recovery by scrapping APD completely. The 50% reduction proposed for 2023 is too little, too late for post-covid recovery since APD puts UK airports at a severe cost disadvantage versus their European competitors.
"To celebrate our Summer schedule to/from Leeds Bradford, we are launching a three-day seat sale with fares available from £19,99 for travel until October 2022, which must be booked by Friday 18th February. Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com to avoid missing out.”
Mr McGuinness told The Yorkshire Post: "In stark contrast to other airlines across the market, Ryanair is very much in growth mode at the moment. We're a very different airline - we have always delivered for Leeds Bradford Airport and the UK."
However, he warned that APD was making UK airports uncompetitive and was holding back further expansion.
Leeds Bradford Airport’s Aviation Director Nicola McMullen said: “We are continually working at LBA to increase choice for passengers and introduce new and exciting routes, the announcement today from Ryanair is an important step towards this and illustrates the potential in LBA for the future.
"As well as creating more jobs in our region and driving economic benefits, the announcement comes at a time when we are really starting to see an acceleration in bounce back from the pandemic and we are gearing up for a busy summer. We look forward to welcoming new and existing passengers at LBA visiting these exciting destinations.”