Ryanair will not fly this winter in Reus and launches routes for the summer of 2023

There will be no Ryanair flights at the Airport this winter. This has been confirmed to the Diari by company sources consulted in this regard, who specify that "routes will not be operated from Reus" during the low season, which starts just at the end of October. The decision is now final. With this, the aerodrome is heading, except for surprise, to its third cold season without commercial activity and with the terminal closed. However, the Irish airline does look further and has begun to market, as of this week, routes for the summer of 2023.

It offers, through its website and to date, tickets to travel between Baix Camp and ten destinations: Brussels, Dublin, Shannon, Einhoven, Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds, Liverpool, London-Stansted and Manchester. The same sources specify that "we are still outlining our complete schedule for next summer" although "some of the routes are already available online."

In this sense, the forecast is that, in addition to those ten, there may be “more connections” that “will be added in due course”. As things stand today, Ryanair would take off in Reus on March 26 and close operations eight months later. The routes already on sale have been articulated with between one and seven flights a week.

For its part, Jet2 sells tickets to Reus from all its bases: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester, London-Stansted, Newcastle and Leeds. Its flights will begin on April 1 and will last until November 5.

Jet2 thus puts on the market, as airline sources recently confirmed to this newspaper, more than 134,000 arrival seats. This represents more than 134,000 potential tourists. The peak of the company's weekly flights will occur between the end of May and the third week of July, and will be 29. Reus-Manchester will be the busiest connection. Reus-Bristol, which premiered this year after several attempts postponed due to the pandemic, will continue. Its programming would guarantee activity during Holy Week in Reus.

As for TUI, at the moment it offers tickets between Reus and London-Gatwick, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Belfast, Doncaster, Newcastle, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Sticking to current forecasts, the airline would start operating at the Airport on May 9. Progressively, throughout that same month, it would deploy most of its routes. And it would leave the capital of Baix Camp on the last weekend of October, coinciding with the time change that gives way to the cold season. The 30 routes proposed by Ryanair, Jet2 and TUI are, in quantity, similar to what they operate this year.

The summer of recovery

It remains to be seen what Air Nostrum plans to do, which in 2022 has worked the Reus-Mallorca route, the only domestic connection and which was in force from June 14 to September 4. According to Aena figures, and in the absence of adding the September addition, the connection has moved some 1,959 passengers during the summer. He had put 4,600 tickets up for sale. Air Nostrum had already been present in Reus in 2021. On that occasion, still marked by the Covid restrictions, it deployed Reus-Ibiza. It registered, according to the Aena count, some 1,146 passengers. About 2023, it is not yet pronounced.

And Binter, which in 2021 had been a pioneer with the return of national flights by programming links with the Canary Islands, indicates that "it is not planned to recover the route with Reus." The company already withdrew last winter, unexpectedly, after initially announcing that it would remain at the Airport. It did so on the basis of profitability issues. Nor has Volotea, which operated Reus-Menorca, returned this high season.

The last few months, in any case, have confirmed the recovery of the infrastructure after the harsh impact of Covid-19. So far in 2022, Reus Airport has already exceeded the passenger bar set by Aena for the entire year. Although initially the objective was to exceed, once again, one million passengers, the director of the aerodrome, Juan Crespo, set a more measured figure: 745,300. The data collected up to the end of September show that 811,412 people have passed through the facilities.

Crespo himself recalled, during a recent appearance at the Reus Chamber, that "our Airport was the one that fell the most with the pandemic and that is why it is now the one that is growing the most." For this summer that will soon come to an end, and which has been extraordinarily long, the companies put around a million seats on sale on some 38 routes with nearly 23 destinations. Most of the tourists who land in Reus are British, Irish, Belgian and Dutch.

And the complicated part is yet to come. Facing the winter that is now approaching, Ryanair's decision not to operate is not at all innocuous for Reus Airport. The Irish airline was the last airline to schedule routes in the low season for the capital of Baix Camp, where it flew solo. Over the years, it was reduced until it remained, as of 2018, only with London-Stansted. But, in 2020, with the Covid, it also stopped offering that link and the Airport experienced a winter without any commercial flights. The previous time such a situation had occurred was in 2011. And the scenario, which was already repeated in 2021, could return this 2022 if there are no last minute movements.

The territory, through the mayors of various municipalities but also especially through the Reus Chamber of Commerce, constantly demands that the infrastructure not be paralyzed when the cold begins. He asks to deseasonalize tourism and promote connections outside of high season.

Also through an act at the Chamber, the president of Aena, Maurici Lucena, responded to this concern last September by stating that "when one asks those who live or work in the demarcation about the Airport, it turns out that it is unknown" . “The tourist tour operators know more about him than the people here. This is indicated by our surveys », he explained. The president of Aena stressed that "when that changes, it will cause more demand."

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