Ryanair is Poland’s largest airline; has 13 airports and 290 Q2 routes; Kraków top airport

Ryanair in Katowice

Ryanair has been in Poland for 19 years in March and accounts for about a third of the country’s capacity in Q2 (April-June) 2024. The ULCC’s share of the country’s market will be helped by additional based aircraft in S24. Two more 737s will be stationed at Kraków and one more at both Katowice and Poznań. Two of the four aircraft will be moved from Warsaw WMI.

Ryanair has served Poland for nearly two decades

The ULCC first flew to Poland in March 2005, shortly after the country gained EU membership with the freedom of movement that entailed. Its first route was between London STN and Wrocław. In 2012, its first Polish base – at Wrocław – opened.

Nineteen years later, Ryanair plans a record 2.62 million Poland departing seats in Q2 2024, based on Cirium data. Capacity has risen by about 7% year-on-year and by an astonishing 51% versus 2019. This is nine percentage points more than the carrier’s growth networkwide since that pre-pandemic period.

Poland is now Ryanair’s seventh most-served country out of the 37 in its network in Q2 2024. About one in 11 of the airline’s seats are to, from, or in the country. Ryanair’s fast growth in Poland means its share of the country’s capacity has risen from a quarter in 2024 to a third – and it shows no sign of slowing. The size gap with Wizz Air has widened.

Ryanair in Poland vs key carriers Q2 2005-2024

Ryanair serves 13 Polish airports, with 1,076 weekly departures in June

Five of the 13 airports in the ULCC’s network have seen capacity reductions versus 2019. However, this was more than counterbalanced by significant growth – sometimes from a low base – at Kraków (+64%), Gdańsk (+95%), Wrocław (+67%), Poznań (+120%) and Katowice (+221%).

Analysis of Cirium data shows that Ryanair is the largest carrier at nine of the 13 airports, including Kraków. Not only is Kraków the carrier’s leading Polish airport, but also its number-one airport in Central and Eastern Europe. Overall, it ranks 14th out of 233 airports in the carrier’s entire network in Q2.

Athens International Airport

Warsaw WMI seats have reduced by 13% versus 2019. It is the secondary airport for the capital area and is located about 45 kilometres from the centre. Ryanair has served it since 2012, when the airport opened to airlines. As is often the case, the cut seems to be partly about fees and charges. However, some routes that had shifted to WAW, the country’s main airport, will return to WMI, suggesting that at least some agreement was reached.

Ryanairs Polish airports Q2 2024

290 Polish routes in Q2

According to Cirium, there are 286 international routes and four domestic. The latter are between Kraków and Gdańsk, Gdańsk and Wrocław, Kraków and Szczecin and Gdańsk and Lublin.

Internationally, Kraków inevitably has the most routes (81), including the launch of Faro on 1 April, Trieste on 1 April, Dubrovnik on 2 April and Olbia on 1 May. Wrocław is next (42), then WMI (41), Gdańsk (38) and Poznań (37). Only Olsztyn-Mazury has one route: London STN.

When all routes are considered, STN has more Ryanair capacity from Poland than any airport, followed by Milan BGY, Dublin, Stockholm ARN and Oslo TRF. The unsurprising significance of STN is shown in the top 10 routes figure, with it accounting for half of all entries.

The leading route is WMI-STN, with 20-weekly flights in June, down from 25 in the same week in 2019. At the city level, British Airways, LOT Polish and Wizz Air also operate between Warsaw and London. In Q2, Ryanair is the second-smallest operator, with 23% of available seats. Despite being much smaller at the country level, Wizz Air is first with its higher frequency WAW-London LTN service using higher-capacity aircraft (33% of seats).

Top 10 Ryanair routes from Poland Q2 2024

Birmingham Airport