Ryanair start cheap flights to Paphos Cyprus

When Easyjet starting flying to Cyprus, they changed things radically. Now Ryanair are starting flights to and from Cyprus as well so we can expect big reductions in the cost of flying to Cyprus.

Ryanair will be starting flights between Paphos and London from April 2012. They will also fly between Paphos and Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Frankfurt Hahn and Memmingen (Germany), Patras and Thessaloniki (Greece), Kaunas (Lithuania), Rome, Milan, Pisa and Treviso (Italy), Chania (Crete) and Krakow (Poland).

Ryanair will base two aircraft at Paphos to operate the 14 routes. Ryanair say this will be able to handle 600,000 passengers annually and sustain over 600 jobs with over 80 weekly flights as Ryanair invests over $140 million at Paphos Airport.

Ryanair’s Michael Cawley said:

“Ryanair is delighted to announce Paphos as our 50th base with 14 routes beginning next  April which are on sale on www.ryanair.com.

“Cypriot consumers/visitors can now beat the recession and escape Cyprus Airways high fares by switching to Ryanair’s lowest fares and our no fuel surcharge guarantee to 14 exciting destinations all over Europe including Germany, Italy and Sweden among others. Ryanair’s 600,000 passengers p.a. will sustain up to 600 jobs in Paphos.

Alfred Van der Meer, Hermes Airport Group Chief Executive, said:

“This is a great vote of confidence in the potential of both the airport and our region from Europe’s largest airline. Today’s announcement will help create much needed jobs and tourism and shows that Ryanair shares our confidence in the tremendous opportunity for strong market growth at the airport.

Update – Not so cheap

We’ve now had the opportunity to fly Ryanair to London Stansted from Paphos.  Not a pleasant experience.

Firstly, after Easyjet’s easy-to-use, straightforward website, Ryanair’s website is a nightmare.  The price you’re actually going to pay isn’t immediately clear, and the little add-ons that you have to buy mount up rapidly.  It’s very easy for the actual price you pay to be more than twice the headline price they promote.

In the final analysis, Easyjet’s pricing is clear and competitive, Ryanair’s not so.

The real acid test is which of the two competing low cost carriers is the best value.  Comparing Easyjet’s Luton to Paphos price with Ryanair’s Stansted to Paphos price suggests Easyjet are actually the cheaper of the two.

I totally appreciate the airline business is highly competitive and margins are slim.  Selling add-ons to the basic ticket is a must to ensure profitability.  But in Ryanair’s case when the add-ons are more than the headline ticket price, that’s heading towards being misleading.

Poor service too

In our case, we were travelling with an elderly lady, so wanted to avoid the scrum of getting on the plane.  So we chose to pay the extra charge for “Priority Boarding”.

We ended up being bussed out to some remote part of Paphos Airport to wait for the plane to arrive.  (The non-priority boarding passengers remained in the comfort of the lounge).  We waited 50 minutes in the rain with no shelter and nowhere to sit.  (Remember we chose this because of the elderly lady).

When we did eventually board the Ryanair plane, it was at the same time as the non-priority boarders, and yes, our old lady did have to fight her way through the scrum to get on.

And then of course throughout the flight we were bombarded with sales attempts to sell overpriced food, drinks and a host of other stuff.  When your flight leaves late in the evening you want to sleep, not fight off Ryanair’s attempts to sell you something else.

Conclusion?

We’ll stick with Easyjet for three reasons.

  • Pricing – very competitive
  • Service – impeccable
  • Punctuality – Amazing.  They consistently beat the schedule and arrive early

A final thought.  It seems to me that Ryanair has a lack of respect for their customers.  You don’t have to read far to see they have a similar or greater lack of respect for their suppliers.  I wonder what that means for their maintenance policies?

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