Sunday 21 January 2018

Ryanair rules out transatlantic flights, but welcomes Norwegian's €69 fares

Transatlantic travel

Composite Image: Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary, with Cork Airport in the background.
Composite Image: Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary, with Cork Airport in the background.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Ryanair has no plans to develop transatlantic services between Europe and North America, it has confirmed.

Its comments come after low-cost carrier Norwegian announced transatlantic fares from Ireland that will start this July from €69 each-way.

"We have 380 new Boeing aircraft on order which will allow us to grow our traffic to 200m customers p.a. by 2024, and as there is plenty of capacity and growth opportunities for Ryanair in Europe, we are solely focused on European growth currently," the airline confirmed to Travel.

"We are speaking to a number of airlines concerning feeding their long-haul flights, and we are in advanced talks with Aer Lingus and Norwegian," it added.

"Given that we have the largest route network in Europe, it’s a logical move and a very attractive proposition for long-haul carriers."

Yesterday, Norwegian Airlines International (NAI) announced a wave of low-cost services from Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast to the US.

The flights, set for take-off on July 1, offer lead-in fares to Boston Providence Airport and New York's Stewart International from €69 each-way.

Flying to non-hub airports (both are about 90 minutes from the respective cities) offers savings on landing charges - echoing the Ryanair model.

Ryanair had been supportive of Norwegian's efforts to launch transatlantic services from Ireland, with its CEO Michael O'Leary among the many aviation and tourism figures to have called for a permit to be granted.

"We wish Norwegian well with their new services and welcome anything that brings more low fares and more choice for consumers," it said.

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