Ryanair has firmed up plans to offer flights to and from the US following years of speculation that it could operate transatlantic services.
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair chief marketing officer, confirmed: “We are interested in doing transatlantic flights.”
Jacobs said Ryanair could operate its own flights under another brand or connect with US airlines flying into Europe.
Speaking at German travel trade show ITB in Berlin, he said: “We expect the grip of the [existing] transatlantic carriers will come to an end quite soon.
“Low cost competition on transatlantic flights would be good for Europe. We’re very interested in it – there is no reason why we couldn’t [do it] in five years’ time.”
Jacobs gave details of the plans the carrier is considering – the first time a senior Ryanair executive has done so.
He said: “We expect to look at it in two ways.
“We’re considering our own transatlantic flights, with standard seats and premium economy, probably from 10 airports in Europe and six in the US, with strong frequencies.”
He said services “would not be Ryanair” but under another name.
“We’re also looking at doing it with US airlines linking to our network in Europe.”
Jacobs raised the prospect of “an American airline flying to Cologne to connect with Ryanair flights around Europe”.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has repeatedly raised the prospect of transatlantic flights, though not operated by Ryanair itself.
However, O’Leary has also argued the long-haul aircraft required for such an operation were not available.
Ryanair has a fleet of 320 aircraft and another 380 on order for delivery by 2024. It expects to operate a fleet of 520 aircraft by 2024.
However, none of the aircraft on order are suitable for long-haul operations.
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