Ryanair boasts of job boost at Stansted

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Ryanair has estimated that a new deal with Stansted Airport will create around 7,000 new jobs over the next ten years. Presumably the figure is obtained from an initial 60 jobs upfront with 6,940 in hidden extras.

Ryanair, already responsible for through traffic of over 13 million passengers a year at the Essex terminal, wants to increase those numbers to 20 million. In return it has obtained lower running costs and improved facilities. Although it represents good news for passengers using Stansted, it might be a worrying sign of the leverage that Ryanair enjoys over the low-cost hub. Ryanair's rather vague estimate of the jobs boost is based on research suggesting that every extra million passengers at an airport creates 1,000 additional jobs.

It's the first major deal since Stansted changed ownership from BAA to Manchester Airports Group (MAG). The Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary was in typically ebullient form, taking the chance to crow at BAA. "UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly," he said. "This is the first dramatic initiative by MAG to reverse seven years of decline, during which Stansted’s traffic fell from 23.8 million to 17.5 million. As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair looks forward to a decade of growing traffic, routes and jobs at Stansted."

The message between the lines being: as Stansted's biggest airline, Ryanair expects the place to run according to their preferences. Happily, Ken O'Toole, the chief commercial officer of MAG, just happens to be the former commercial director of . . . you've guessed it, Ryanair. No wonder he has such a great relationship with the airline.

"The deal secures a new and exciting era for both Ryanair and Stansted, and we're delighted to be supporting the airline's growth over the next ten years," O'Toole said. "Ryanair shares our confidence, and shows how we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under new ownership."

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