Ryanair Pushes Ahead with Expansion with First Flights to Turkey
Ryanair added Turkey to its list of destinations, continuing an expansion from its traditional European markets by dipping a toe into a large market where the tourism sector is showing signs of recovery.
Europe’s largest budget carrier, which recently began flying from Jordan for the first time, will operate two new routes weekly from Dublin and Bratislava to the south-western Turkish resort of Dalaman from June, 2018.
Turkey’s tourism industry has suffered in recent years as travel companies and airlines switched their attention to Spain after militant attacks and a failed military coup affected demand for travel to Turkey.
The resulting competition put pressure on prices and was one of the reasons behind the demise of airlines
Air Berlin and Monarch in 2017.
However Europe’s largest travel group TUI said last month that bookings for Turkey had picked up, echoing rival Thomas Cook which also saw increased demand.
Hoteliers have predicted that tourism in Turkey will make a major comeback this summer as Germans and Russians flock back to its beaches.
The number of foreign visitors to Turkey was up 28 percent at 32.4 million in 2017 and is expected to rise further to more than 38 million this year.
Ryanair carried almost 130 million passengers last year, the vast majority on routes in the European Union, but it also flies to some non-eu countries, including Israel and Morocco.