From April 2011, Ryanair will begin flying from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) to the islands of Kos and Rhodes in the Aegean Sea. The new routes are part of a ‘Greek invasion’ by the Irish carrier, which will see flights to southwestern Europe added at 13 airports served by Ryanair.
Kos, which is situated a few miles from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, will be served twice a week from April 13. The island has two personalities, according to Thomson. Kos is an idyllic ‘sun and sun’ destination, much like neighbouring Rhodes, but the bright lights on the coast belie a rural heartland: “think deserted hamlets and whitewashed villages dotted across wooded hills”, explains the airline’s destination guide.
Flights from JLA to Rhodes will begin on April 14. The island, alongside Patmos, Arkoi, and Kos, is a member of the Dodecanese, an umbrella term for the 12 largest islands in the southeastern Aegean. Rhodes is the former home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus, which straddled the entrance to Mandraki Harbour until the giant was felled by an earthquake in 226BC.
Tickets for the two routes begin at £37.99 for a one-way journey with all taxes included. Planes bound for Kos will depart every Wednesday and Sunday, while Rhodes will be served on Mondays and Thursdays. The additions will help cement Ryanair’s position as the largest carrier by passenger numbers at JLA, and strike a blow to rival airline, easyJet, which is currently the only airline to offer routes to Rhodes from Liverpool.
Ryanair will travel to 40 destinations from JLA this summer. However, the frequency of Ryanair flights from Liverpool to Girona Airport in Spain will be reduced from the end of February 2011. The airline has cut or cancelled flights from Girona to 35 destinations, after the local government in Spain reneged on plans to allow Ryanair to expand at the Costa Brava hub.