Ryanair: Berlin To Miami And London To New York For As Little As $15
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary
Europe's largest budget airline has just been granted approval to develop a transatlantic service between Europe and America.
Ryanair, the Ireland-based budget carrier, plans to run services between key European cities and the US with one-way tickets costing from as little as $15.
The idea is part of an aggressive growth strategy, connecting airports such as London Stansted and Berlin with New York, Boston and Miami.
The airline first mooted the idea of offering transatlantic flights back in 2008 and board approval comes after the airline has invested 18 months in cleaning up its image and improving customer service.
It is believed it could take up to five years to realize the plan, as the airline needs to source appropriate long-haul aircraft for the routes.
Last year, Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive, told the Irish Hotels Federation conference in Meath that Ryanair would offer the $15 flights to Boston and New York.
However, he admitted that passengers would pay extra for everything from meals to baggage.
He said: 'We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe.
'Not every seat will be ($15) of course; there will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats.'
In a separate conversation, Mr O'Leary admitted: 'We've had a business plan ready to roll for a transatlantic, low-fares airline.
'The difficulty is, I keep cautioning, is that there's no availability of long-haul aircraft for another four or five years.'
Ryaniar isn't the only airline to consider offering budget transatlantic flights.
Previously, Sir Freddie Laker launched Skytrain in the late Seventies to offer 'no frills' flights to the US, but his carrier Lake Airways failed in 1982.
Zoom Airlines tried a similar concept in 2002 but was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2008.
More recently, Norwegian has launched its own budget flights between London Gatwick, New York, Boston and Los Angeles from as little as £389 ($415) return.