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All the airports that Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air added (and stopped serving) in 2023 revealed

IAS 4 routes

Europe’s big three (U)LCCs – easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air – continued to evolve their networks in 2023. In this analysis of Cirium schedules data Air Service One reveals which airports these carriers chose to serve for the first time this year, which airports have seen a resumption of services and identifies those airports that were served in 2022 but not in 2023.

Ryanair: time to take on Wizz Air in Tirana

Not surprisingly, by already serving more airports across Europe than any other carrier, it becomes increasingly difficult for Ryanair to find airports that it has not previously served. In 2023, four airports were added to the airline’s network:

  • Iasi (IAS) in Romania: At the end of March, Ryanair began serving the airport from four of its bases; Brussels CRL (3-weekly), Dublin (2-weekly), Milan BGY (5-weekly) and Paris BVA (4-weekly). All four routes continue to operate this winter. In November, Ryanair accounted for just over 10% of Iasi’s seat capacity well behind market leader at the airport, Wizz Air (77%).
  • Paderborn/Lippstadt (PAD) in Germany: At the end of March Ryanair launched service from the German airport to three Spanish destinations; Alicante, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca. All routes were flown 2-weekly. Only the Alicante service continued into the winter season.
  • Poprad-Tatry (TAT) in Slovakia: Ryanair began 2-weekly service from London STN on 1 November.
  • Tirana (TIA) in Albania: Having watched Wizz Air make Tirana one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe, Ryanair decided enough was enough and began service at the end of October to the Albanian capital from 17 of its European bases. It will compete head-to head with Wizz Air on eight of these routes this winter.

Albania RYANAIR BASE

Ryanair also resumed service to three airports this year:

  • Belfast (BFS) in the UK: Last served from five airports in October 2021. Resumed service in late March 2023. Operated 16 routes during S23. This continues to be the case this winter, though Cardiff, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia have been replaced by Lanzarote, Porto and Turin.
  • Osijek (OSI) in the Czech Republic: Last served from London STN in late 2016, seasonal summer service resumed from the same UK airport in June 2023.
  • Warsaw Chopin (WAW) in Poland: Last served in January 2019 from Szczecin. Returned to the busiest airport in Poland in late March 2023 with routes from Alicante, Brussels CRL, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos and Vienna. A Manchester service was added for W23/24.

Analysis of Cirium data, reveals that a total of eight airports that were served in 2022 were no longer served in 2023. Four of these were in Ukraine; Kharkiv, Kiev KBP, Lviv and Odessa. The other four airports deprived of Ryanair services this year were Brest (last served from Lisbon, Marseille and Porto in February 2022), Frankfurt FRA (17 routes were served in March 2022), Haugesund (last served from Alicante and Malaga in October 2022) and La Palma (last served from Barcelona, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela in October 2022).

easyJet starts serving Europe’s second busiest airport

The Luton-headquartered LCC began service for the first time to six new airports across Europe and North Africa.

    • Akureyri (AEY) in Iceland: At the end of October, easyJet introduced 2-weekly service from London LGW to Iceland’s third-busiest airport, Akureyri. The airline had first started serving Iceland with flights between London LTN and Reykjavik KEF in March 2012.
    • Comiso (CIY) in Italy: Following Ryanair’s decision to stop serving Comiso on the island of Sicily from early May 2023, easyJet stepped in and launched 2-weekly flights from its Milan MXP base on 24 November. A second route from Naples is set to launch next June.
    • Giza (SPX) in Egypt: This new Egyptian airport was added to easyJet’s network at the end of October with the introduction of flights from London LTN. A second route from Berlin is set to begin the week before Christmas.
    • Istanbul (IST) in Turkey: Europe’s second busiest airport in 2023 (after London LHR) welcomed its first ever easyJet service, from Manchester, on 9 June. It operated 2-weekly during the summer increasing to 3-weekly this winter. easyJet had previously served Istanbul SAW between June 2006 and March 2014 with flights from Basel, London LGW and London LTN.
    • Rabat (RBA) in Morocco: easyJet began serving the airport serving the Moroccan capital at the start of the W23/24 season. It currently offers flights from four French airports (Lyon, Nantes, Nice and Paris CDG) and Geneva.
    • Tarbes-Lourdes (LDE) in France: A 2-weekly, summer-only service from Milan MXP to this French airport was inaugurated on 31 March. Ryanair offers indirect competition with its service from Milan BGY.

easyJet Milan Malpensa

easyJet also resumed service to four airports this year that were not served in 2022:

Dublin Airport
  • A Coruña (LCG) in Spain: Last served in December 2012 from Madrid, easyJet resumed service to the northwestern Spanish airport at the start of the S23 season in late March with 2-weekly service from Geneva and Milan MXP. These routes and frequencies have continued into the winter season.
  • Ancona (AOI) in Italy: Last served from London LGW pre-COVID in March 2020 (also from Berlin in 2018 and 2019), easyJet resumed 2-weekly service from London LGW in July 2023.
  • Essaouira (ESU) in Morocco: Last served regularly pre-COVID from Bordeaux and Lyon (both 2-weekly), easyJet resume service in April 2023 with year-round 2-weekly service from Bordeaux.
  • Kittila (KTT) in Finland: Last served in December 2021 from Bristol and London LGW, easyJet has resumed service to the Lapland airport in November 2023 from London LGW and Manchester.

Analysis of Cirium data, reveals that a total of five airports that were served by easyJet in 2022 were no longer served in 2023. Cologne Bonn lost easyJet flights at the end of October 2022. During the summer of 2022 the carrier had served the airport from Berlin, London LGW, Palma de Mallorca and Porto. East Midlands saw its last easyJet service in March 2022 from Belfast BFS. It is worth recalling that East Midlands had been an easyJet base which it inherited when it acquired Go in 2002. Gothenburg dropped off easyJet’s network at the end of October 2022 when the 3-weekly service from Berlin was suspended. Similarly, Helsinki stopped being an easyJet destination in September 2022 when the Berlin service was similarly suspended. Finally, Vienna flights ended at the end of March 2022 when routes from Amsterdam, Basel and Berlin were all terminated.

Wizz Air adds over a dozen new airports in 2023

The carrier began service for the first time to 11 new airports across Europe and North Africa in 2023:

  • Ankara (ESB) in Turkey: The Turkish capital welcomed Wizz Air flights for the first time on 19 January when service to Abu Dhabi began. The airline operated 3- to 4-weekly service on the route throughout the year.
  • Bilbao (BIO) in Spain: Strangely overlooked until this year, Wizz Air finally began serving Bilbao in late March from Warsaw WAW and added a second route from Vienna in June. Only the Vienna service continues into the winter season.
  • Brasov (GHV) in Romania: Wizz Air added flights to this new airport in August 2023 from London LTN with Dortmund service starting in September. Both routes continue into the winter season.
  • Comiso (CIY) in Italy: Flights from Tirana were launched on 26 September and continue into the winter season.
  • Istanbul (IST) in Turkey: Service to Turkey’s busiest airport were launched on 28 March from London LGW and London LTN. Additional routes from Budapest and Iasi were added during the summer. All four routes continue into the winter season.
  • Giza (SPX) in Egypt: Mid-June saw Wizz Air launch flights to the new airport in Egypt from Rome FCO and Milan MXP. For winter, additional routes were added from Abu Dhabi, Budapest and London LTN.
  • Luxembourg (LUX): Luxembourg was added to Wizz Air’s network on 14 June when 2-weekly service from Bucharest OTP began. Since then, flights have been added from Rome FCO and Skopje.
  • Marsa Alam (RMF) in Egypt: This year-round holiday destination was added on 9 January when 2-weekly Milan MXP flights were introduced. This remains Wizz Air’s only route to the airport.
  • Radom (RDO) in Poland: This new airport in Poland is set to welcome Wizz Air flights for the first time on 13 December with a 2-weekly service to Larnaca in Cyprus.
  • Stockholm (ARN) in Sweden: Wizz Air began serving Sweden’s busiest airport at the start of the W23/24 season on 31 October, when it transferred service from Budapest and Gdansk to Stockholm NYO, to the larger (and more convenient) airport. At present, these remain the airline’s only two routes to Arlanda.
  • Trieste (TRS) in Italy: Became Wizz Air’s latest airport in Italy when year-round, 2-weekly flights were introduced on 3 July from the airline’s Albanian base in Tirana.

WizzAir

Wizz Air has also resumed service to Glasgow GLA. Last served in January 2021 from Budapest, 2-weekly service from Budapest and Bucharest OTP were (re-)launched in mid-November.

For various reasons, Wizz Air no longer served some 20 airports in 2023 which it had been serving in 2022. This included five airports in Ukraine, three in Norway and three in Russia. The remaining nine airports not served in 2023 and which had been served in 2022 were Balaton in Hungary (served from Dortmund between June 2022 and September 2022), Belfast BFS, Cagliari, Doncaster/Sheffield in the UK (the airport closed in November 2022), Lanzarote, Menorca (last served from Rome FCO in September 2022), Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana) in Kazakhstan, Pardubice in the Czech Republic (last served from Kiev IEV and Lviv prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022) and Saarbrücken in Germany (served from Sarajevo between June 2022 and October 2022).

If we also consider Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s network to non-European destinations, then four more airports were added to Wizz Air’s overall network in 2023. These are Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan (1 June), Erbil in Iraq (6 October), Medinah in Saudi Arabia (15 February) and Tashkent in Uzbekistan (25 January).

Wizz Air

Montpellier Airport