Irish carrier Ryanair will return to UK domestic services after a three-year break this winter after establishing a new base at Glasgow International airport.
The airline will begin thrice-daily flights linking both Glasgow and Edinburgh to London Stansted from 26 October. It is also establishing a thrice-daily service between Glasgow and Dublin. This replaces the current daily connection between Dublin and Ryanair's existing Glasgow base at Prestwick.
The carrier says the three routes further support its move to secure more business traffic. Notably the services will operate thrice-daily seven days a week with departure times designed to appeal to business travellers.
Ryanair will base one Boeing 737-800 at Glasgow International - the airline's 69th base - and on top of Dublin and London Stansted, will also serve the Polish destinations of Bydgoszcz , Warsaw Modlin and Wroclaw, Derry and the Latvian capital Riga from the airport. The latter five routes are all transferring from its Prestwick operation.
The Irish carrier estimates it will carry 850,000 passengers from Glasgow International during the first year. While this includes around 350,000 that will move from Prestwick, Ryanair still expects to fly 500,000 from Prestwick annually under its revamped Scottish network
"Despite this switch Ryanair remains committed to its long standing base at Prestwick where the airline has a major maintenance facility and is currently in discussions with Glasgow Prestwick and the Scottish Government, its new owners, to explore growth opportunities to/from Prestwick," the airline says.
"Glasgow airport is a good example of a blended approach," explained Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs, at a media event in London. "One airport focuses on the leisure market and one focuses on business." It mirrors similar developments in Brussels and Rome, where Ryanair now operates at both primary and secondary airports in those cities.