Ryanair sets out plans for new long-haul routes

Ryanair sets out plans for new long-haul routes

Ryanair is talking to manufacturers about acquiring long-haul aircraft as it plans to develop low fare transatlantic services.

The airline said it would like to offer flights between 10 European cities and a similar number of US destinations.

But it would be four to five years before services would start, according to the Irish low-cost carrier, confirming plans reported by Travel Weekly earlier this month.

The venture’s planned European bases would include Stansted, Dublin, Cologne and Berlin, plus others in Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.

Flights would connect between 12 and 14 European cities with US destinations including Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York and Washington.

Although some subsidised promotional fares would cost £10, other one-way tickets would be priced at £99 or more, and the airline would fill up to half its aircraft with more expensive premium seats, head of marketing Kenny Jacobs was reported as saying.

Ryanair said: “The board of Ryanair, like any plc, has approved the business plans for future growth, including transatlantic.

“We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft but cannot comment further on this.

“European consumers want lower-cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market.”

Noting Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian’s transatlantic services, Jacobs told the Financial Times: “We’ve seen what others have done, we’ve listened and observed what’s gone on in the past 12 months and now have a better view on how we’d like to launch it and market it, and what the product would look like.”

Ryanair’s service, pitched as part of an ambitious growth strategy over the next five years, would be different from that of Norwegian because “we’re a bigger business — a bigger brand with more traffic and a much more efficient cost model,” Jacobs said.

The transatlantic flights would not be branded under the company name, he added.

Confirmation of the long haul plans came as the carrier released its winter flying programme three months earlier than last year, covering more than 1,600 routes.

Jacobs said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch our biggest ever winter schedule, with more flights, routes and destinations, as we continue to grow Europe’s biggest route network.

“Ryanair will continue to connect Europe’s key centres of business, with more flights and improved schedules to and from major cities, including Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome and Warsaw.”

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