British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia are ready to work with Ryanair as a feeder carrier for their long-haul flights.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of the airlines’ parent group IAG, revealed on Monday that he had discussed a deal on feeder flights with Ryanair. Whether it happens will depend on passenger demand.
Both Ryanair and easyJet recently announced their willingness to feed passengers on to long-haul services. The budget carriers have previously ruled out coordinating flights with other airlines to offer interline tickets and check baggage through to ?final destinations.
Speaking at the Airport Operators Association conference in London, Walsh said: “If there is an opportunity to work with Ryanair I see no reason not to. If we can reach terms with Ryanair and customers want it, why not?
“But what’s key is that customers want it. We have said to Ryanair that we have no objection in principle to working with them.”
However, Walsh said any deal would not apply to Heathrow as Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary “has no interest in Heathrow”. He added that there had been no contact between IAG carriers and easyJet.
The IAG chief hit out at the Airports Commission’s projected cost of a third runway at Heathrow, saying: “If those costs are real, we should not build it.”
The government is poised to announce its decision on whether to accept the commission’s conclusion that Heathrow should have a third runway. But Walsh said: “The commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated.
“I don’t endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of a new runway.”
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