independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ryanair’s O’Leary ‘still committed’ to developing USA service

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

RYANAIR boss Michael O’Leary says he’s still committed to developing a transatlantic service but conceded the move could be four or five years away.

Speaking in Dublin this morning, Mr O’Leary said that while the plan is still speculative, he has held talks with some airports.

Mr O’Leary has also ruled out teaming up with the government to engage in a joint sale of their stakes in Aer Lingus. Mr O’Leary said there’s “not a chance” of it happening. Ryanair owns close to 30pc of Aer Lingus, while the government owns 25.1pc.

Mr O’Leary’s comments come just weeks after Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley effectively ruled out Ryanair ever becoming involved in the transatlantic market.

"I don't think it is ever envisaged that Ryanair would get into the long-haul market," he said in Shannon last month. "Long haul for us is flying to the Canaries or to Greece at the moment.”

He said that while it could be possible for Ryanair to enter the transatlantic market, it could only be achieved if aircraft were cheap enough to justify the economics.

"If an opportunity came along and if long-haul aircraft prices declined dramatically, it might be possible to get into the business then, but there is no imminent prospect of that," Mr Cawley said.

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