Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary was in Tallinn earlier this week. Ryanair brought 200,000 passengers to Tallinn in 2017 and is aiming at 300,000 for the ongoing year. In the longer perspective, Tallinn Airport may be a candidate for a new local hub for Ryanair, O'Leary said.
Estonia is an important market, O'Leary told ERR's "Aktuaalne kaamera" newscast. In 2017, the airline had brought 200,000 passengers to Tallinn, and this year they are hoping to push numbers to 300,000 overall. To get there, Ryanair is adding trips to Edinburgh, Belfast, and Larnaca.
O'Leary added that Ryanair is already planning to go beyond those new lines, and that the company is currently working with Tallinn Airport, among other things also looking into the option of making Tallinn a local hub.
Ryanair believes that Tallinn is on the verge of greater growth, which makes it an attractive location for a local hub. Also, the company's relationship with the local authorities is very good, O'Leary pointed out. At the same time, several airports are currently competing for Ryanair's increased presence.
Two of the new lines are going to be added in summer this year, the third in the next winter.
As Tallinn is less than three hours away of most of Europe's important cities, O'Leary sees very promising potential in the development of new routes, and in bringing more tourists here.
Meanwhile in terms of other destinations within Estonia, Ryanair will continue to concentrate on Tallinn, O'Leary added.
Asked about the potential effect of Brexit on Ryanair's operations, O'Leary said that it is currently hard to predict what the real impact will be, but added that in his personal opinion, leaving the EU is a bad idea, and that he would like to see the process turned around. Knowing what they know today, most Brits would vote differently in a new referendum, O'Leary believes.
Editor: Dario Cavegn