Ryanair has 34% of all Italy seats; serves 30 airports with 800+ routes

Ryanair BGY-RVN

Ryanair became the largest airline to serve Italy in 2014. Analysis of Cirium schedules information shows that the ULCC overtook Alitalia as the largest international carrier in 2008. While the pan-European carrier was always smaller than Alitalia domestically, it became numero uno in 2021. It followed the end of the Italian flag carrier and its much smaller replacement, ITA Airways.

Ryanair has about 34% of Italy’s capacity in 2023, three times more than number two, ITA. The ULCC now has nearly one in two domestic seats (46%), far exceeding ITA. And with nearly three in ten international seats (28%), Ryanair is three times as big as the second-ranked operator, Wizz Air. No wonder Italy is resolutely Ryanair’s most-served country.

Italys airline development 2004-2023

30 airports in Italy; Milan LIN top airport not served

Examining data supplied by Ryanair to Cirium indicates that its network now comprises 30 airports across the nation. The most recent addition was Forli, not far from Bologna. It rejoined its network in September 2022 having last been part of its network in 2008, when it was served as a classic secondary airport to the larger and more expensive primary alternative.

Italy has commercial flights to 40 airports this year, based on having at least 1,000 available seats. The three largest airports not to see Ryanair are Milan LIN (seventh busiest in Italy), Florence (16th) and Olbia (17th). LIN is the closest airport to downtown Milan and – interestingly – is now served fellow ULCC Wizz Air. Ryanair concentrates on Milan BGY and MXP for the metro area. The airline previously flew to Olbia, most recently in 2015.

Ryanair's Italy network

Milan BGY is number one

The following figure shows Ryanair’s top 15 Italian airports by departing seats, with Milan BGY number one. Its network comprises 115 destinations in 34 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The domestic market accounts for a quarter of its capacity on a 12-strong network. BGY capacity grew by a very strong 11% year on year – ~700,000 departing seats added – to a record high.

Athens International Airport

The ULCC is the largest carrier at 13 of the 15 airports and second at Rome FCO (behind ITA) and Milan MXP (behind easyJet). It has an average of 37% of seats from these 15, rising to half or more at Rome CIA (90%), Venice TSF (83%), Milan BGY (80%), Pisa (67%), Brindisi (60%), Bari (57%), Cagliari (54%), Palermo (53%) and Bologna (50%).

If Ryanair’s entire network is considered, three Italian airports make its top 15 list: BGY (third, behind London STN and Dublin), FCO (11th) and Bologna (13th). Only Spain has more airports – five – on this list.

Top 15 Ryanair airport's in Italy 2023

800+ routes in 2023, with 10% new or resumed

Ryanair’s Italian network this year comprises 680+ international routes along with 120 domestic. It has four times the available seats deployed domestically than it does to its largest international market, Spain. The UK, Germany, and Poland round out its top five markets.

Schedule analysis shows 80+ routes were introduced this year, including Milan BGY to Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Kaunas, Lublin, Rijeka, Rovaniemi, Tirana and Weeze. The biggest network development was the ULCC’s late entry into the Albania market, now heavily dominated by Wizz Air. Ryanair launched high-frequency services to Tirana from BGY, Bologna, Catania, Rome CIA, Pisa and Venice TSF.

With more than 453,000 departing seats, Rome FCO-Catania is Ryanair’s leading Italian route. It is also its third largest network-wide, behind only Dublin-London STN and Dublin-London LGW. Cirium shows that the 540-kilometre route to Sicily was introduced by the ULCC in January 2014. Ten years later, there are 108-weekly departing flights in January 2024: ITA (46-weekly), Ryanair (37) and Aeroitalia (25). Wizz Air operated between November 2020 and December 2022.

Top 15 Ryanair routes involving Italy 2023

Indianapolis Airport