Ryanair plans new routes from Milan, Rome

Airline invests $1bn in Italy.

Low-cost Irish airline Ryanair has announced a $1-billion growth plan for its investment in Italy, and the plan includes four new routes for Milan.

Among a total of 44 new routes from Milan and Rome are flights to the Canary Islands from Malpensa and to Luxembourg, Edinburgh and Vigo from Orio al Serio. There will also be 23 new routes joining Italy’s regional airports.

The huge investment – the equivalent of €887 million – comes on the heels of a projection of 32 million passengers to, from and within Italy in the current year, expected to rise to 35m in 2017. These will pay for 10 new airliners to fly Italian routes, and open the door to another 2,250 jobs.

The planned closing of the base at Pescara has been reversed, with flights there re-starting already this week. Negotiations are also under way between Ryanair and Alghero airport in Sardinia, where it hopes to re-open in November.

The announcement was made after the Italian government decided not to apply an increase of €2.50 in municipal tax, originally planned for September, stated the airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary. Another trigger for the investment was the redrafting of airport guidelines to comply with EU rules, he added.