Ryanair. Bless ’em. Don’t they just love to fly you to airports that they name after an attractive city that are actually located miles and miles away?
This week, they’ve announced that, instead of making Eindhoven airport their hub for the lower Rhine area (which is an airport close to a major city, handily convenient for much of central and southern Netherlands and not too far from the Ruhr conurbation – and useful for PSV supporters, I’d expect), they plan to make Weeze their hub instead.
Weeze? Where? I had to look it up on my (very good) road atlas of the lower Rhine and it took me a while to spot. The airport is so small that it isn’t even marked.
And, in true Ryanair fashion, they will call this airport Düsseldorf (Weeze). Bear in mind that it is nearly 80km away from Düsseldorf city (75 minutes by bus), is closer to Arnhem, Venlo and Den Bosch and could easily be confused with Düsseldorf Flughafen, which is actually right next door to the city.
And from which London airport will they fly to their new “Düsseldorf” base? Why, Stansted! Clearly this is aimed to directly compete with Air Berlin, one of their major competitors, which is fair enough in itself but for one thing – Air Berlin fly to Düsseldorf, the real thing. I’ll bet there will be some cheesed-off Ryanair passengers when they discover they have landed in the middle of nowhere.