Is Ryanair gearing up for new no-frills trans-Atlantic airline
Ryanair may launch a separate airline that would fly long-haul between Europe and the US. The no-frills trans-Atlantic airline may offer fares as low as $US12. (4/13/2007)
The budget carrier confirmed comments made in an interview by Chief Executive Michael O´Leary that he has already had speculative approaches from US airports about setting up a service.
Such development emerges as the battle on the trans-Atlantic routes is set to hot up after the European Union approved an aviation deal with the US recently to open up the restricted routes to new rivals. The “Open Skies” deal, which takes effect from the end of March 2008, will allow airlines to fly from anywhere in the EU to any point in the US, shedding limitations that also discourage them from charging what they like or combining with other carriers.
O’Leary told trade magazine Flight International that the new airline could fly to five or six US cities from European bases and offer one-way fares as low as $US12. It would serve secondary US airports such as Baltimore and Providence in Rhode Island and would also have premium class seating.
“By mid-2009, we will be carrying 70 million passengers at 23 bases across Europe,” he told the magazine. “It will be relatively straightforward for us to do a deal for 40 to 50 long-haul aircraft and connect these bases trans-Atlantically.”
Earlier this week, Zoom Airlines shared its plans of launching London – New York flights from Ł129, an initiative described by the airline as “a revolution in low-cost transatlantic air travel”. Zoom flights to New York start at Ł129 each way, including all taxes, fees and charges. The airline is to operate daily flights from London Gatwick to New York JFK from 21 June.
The new flights will also take off almost a year ahead of any “Open Skies” deal which may lead to more low-cost flights being offered by Zoom in the future. Zoom says it plans to become the UK’s leading low-cost transatlantic airline providing an affordable alternative to BA and Virgin which ‘have been fleecing passengers for too long’.