Ryanair adds first Perugia link, confirms Maltese flights

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair is adding a string of routes this winter, confirming more Maltese services and its first flights to Perugia in central Italy.

Ryanair will add Perugia to its network on 20 December, serving the city thrice-weekly from London Stansted.

It is adding new flights to Billund in Denmark from November, serving it four times weekly from Pisa and thrice-weekly from Frankfurt Hahn. Ryanair will also start a thrice-weekly service from Pisa to Seville at the end of October.

It has also confirmed its plan to launch its first services to Malta at the end of next month, offering links from London Luton and Pisa in addition to the previously announced thrice-weekly Dublin service which follows in February.

The carrier at the end of last month first detailed its interest in operating all three services and had already formally announced the Dublin link. Now it confirms weekly Luton flights and a thrice-weekly service from the Italian city Pisa to Malta will start from 31 October.

The Maltese routes have been launched in direct response to an initative from the Maltese Government to attract low cost carriers to serve the island, thus boosting its key tourism industry. Both Ryanair and EasyJet responded to the scheme, which incentivises the launch of new year-round services on selected routes. Malta has backed both carriers’ proposals, though EasyJet is still to make a decision on launching.

Ryanair deputy CEO Michael Cawley says: “We believe this will reverse the decline in Maltese tourism. As an island economy with over 20% of its GNP dependant on tourism, low cost access is crucial and the Maltese   Government has taken the first tentative steps towards a major breakthrough in this regard.”

He estimates the carrier will carry over 200,000 passengers on its Maltese flights in its first year of operation.

Another budget carrier, Germanwings, has separately also recently announced plans to start flights to Malta from both Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart next summer.