Ryanair will trial transfer traffic from this summer
Published 14/04/2016 | 02:30
Ryanair will trial a passenger transfer service at Stansted and Barcelona for its customers this summer, a move that would allow booking of more complex multi-journey trips.
The results of the trial will determine whether Ryanair can connect its passengers with other airlines - a strategy that Mr O'Leary has been plotting for some time.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary told the Irish Independent that the service - which would allow transfer passengers to remain airside rather than having to go through security again - could be rolled out at other airports if it's successful.
The airline plans to make it easier for passengers originating at airports not connected to a significant number of Ryanair routes to connect to a wider network at another airport.
"If you're in, for example, Glasgow, Belfast or Edinburgh, and there's no direct route from there to say, Poznan in Poland, it will show you that you can connect through Stansted with just one stop," said Mr O'Leary.
"It won't be difficult. The connecting time at Stansted might be two hours and you won't have to come through passport control, go back, and check in again," he added.
"The only complexity is can we get the bag across to the other flights without losing loads of bags." He added: "We'll run it across a three or six-month period and see what the demand is like. It's not going to increase our load factors and we don't want to displace point-to-point passengers either.
"It's another one of these things we're trialling, and if we can make it work between our own flights, then there's no reason why we can't transfer onto other airlines as well."
Mr O'Leary has previously said he can envisage a scenario eventually emerging where Ryanair will become a feeder airline for long-haul carriers such as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.
He said that airline such as his "will inevitably feed into the legacy carriers at their hubs".
He added: "Vueling (owned by IAG), is feeding into BA in Barcelona.
"It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that Vueling would in time take over some of BA's slots at Gatwick," he predicted.
"I think, if you look at Ireland, that we could provide a feed for Aer Lingus' operation in Dublin.
"With Aer Lingus part of IAG, I think that's now much more likely than it would have been when Aer Lingus was a standalone competitor of Ryanair.
"I think we will all have to be much more practical in the future."