Monday 16 October 2017

Ryanair's Alitalia bid part of wider long-haul tie-in

Ryanair could sell long-haul flights from Italy on its website if its recent non-binding offer for Italian carrier Alitalia is successful, according to chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs. Stock picture: PA
Ryanair could sell long-haul flights from Italy on its website if its recent non-binding offer for Italian carrier Alitalia is successful, according to chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs. Stock picture: PA

Fearghal O'Connor

Ryanair could sell long-haul flights from Italy on its website if its recent non-binding offer for Italian carrier Alitalia is successful, according to chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.

The ideal outcome for Ryanair is "a hybrid deal", with a long-haul carrier taking over Alitalia's long-haul operation and Ryanair operating many of the short-haul routes to feed transatlantic and other flights, he indicated. Such a move would fit well with Ryanair's wider long-term strategy of selling flights for many airlines including Aer Lingus, Norwegian, BA, Lufthansa and Qantas through its website, he said.

"We think we can play a role in a solution," said Jacobs. "We're not going to take over the bad parts of Alitalia, be that certain agreements with unions on pay or pensions. But we want to keep growing in the Italian market, and we think this is the best thing for the Italian consumer and Italian tourism," he said, pointing out Ryanair already has a 30pc share of the Italian market.

"Hypothetically speaking, if a long-haul airline comes in and buys the long-haul part of Alitalia with Ryanair feeding it short haul and all of that playing out on the Ryanair website, that works in our book."

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