Budget airline Ryanair has added a further two routes to its expanding schedule at Birmingham Airport.
The Irish airline is also set to launch new routes to Madrid and Verona for summer 2016, in addition to those recently announced to Corfu and Vilnius.
Growth plans at Birmingham also include additional flights to Alicante, Barcelona, Dublin, Malaga, Malta and Palma.
In all the Dublin-based budget airline is introducing 23 new routes from Birmingham in its summer 2016 schedule in a move that is expected to see its passenger numbers at Birmingham soar to 1.75 million each year.
Ryanair sales and marketing executive Lisa Buckley said: “Ryanair is pleased to announce further expansion to our Birmingham summer 2016 schedule with two new routes to Madrid and Verona, alongside new routes to Corfu and Vilnius, which will deliver 1.75 million customers per annum and support 1,300 on-site jobs at Birmingham Airport.
“UK customers can look forward to further improvements, including our new personalised website and real customer destination reviews, improved menus, new cabin crew uniforms and new cabin interiors on board, with more to come, as we continue to offer so much more than just lowest fares.”
Ryanair’s policy of paying more attention to customer service has been highlighted as a key factor behind growth plans which are set to see a 25 per cent increase in operations at Birmingham Airport.
The airline’s head of sales and marketing, Carol Anne O’Neill, recently told the Post the airline’s growth at Birmingham, which outstrips its wider growth forecast, could at least in part be directly attributed to its ‘Always Getting Better’ programme.
Introduced last year, the initiative saw a radical new approach to customer service and new bases, a new personalised website, a new app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms and improved inflight menus.
Crucially it also offers allocated seating and the opportunity for passengers to have a second carry-on bag.
Ms O’Neill said: “We did need to up our game in terms of the customer experience and we are seeing more passengers travelling with us because the customer experience is now a much better one.
“Michael O’Leary has been quoted as saying if he knew that being nice to customers would make him more money he would have started being nicer a long time ago. We have had a fantastic year.”
Ryanair has enjoyed a resurgence. Following two profit warnings in 2013, in September this year the airline increased its full-year profit forecast to between €1.18 billion and €1.21 billion.