Irish budget carrier Ryanair is still finalising arrangements for its proposed maintenance base in central Europe and has revealed that it is in discussions with three airports to house the facility.

Speaking to at the Central European Aviation Forum 2006 in Warsaw, Poland last week, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the airline was in talks with an airport in Poland as well as two others, in two other European countries.

He said the $50 million project would employ 1,500 staff, but adds: “We don’t expect to finalise the negotiations for another couple of months.”

Rzeszow in south-east Poland is the most likely Polish location, and the Polish airports authority confirms that the airport is looking at a maintenance facility for the carrier. The Latvian capital, Riga, has also been tipped as a location.

The airline has not indicated where the third possible site might be. Singapore Technologies Aerospace has been linked with the project.

Ryanair intends to expand its operations in Poland from serving eight airports this year to establishing three Polish bases, and serving 80 routes from 16 airports by 2011.

Source: Flight International