It could soon become a lot cheaper for Europeans to visit America – and vice versa – if Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has his way.
The Irish budget airline is looking to start routes from major European airports such as London and Paris to America.
O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has said that the airline hopes to keep the cost down to below €90 ($100) for a one way trip to the States.
It is likely to take at least five years before the plan comes to fruition. O’Leary is hoping to fly from 15 major European cities to 15 major American cities. Dublin is likely to be one of the European cities, although not top of the list.
It could be great news for Irish emigrants now working in America as it will be far cheaper for them to return home to visit friends and family.
It would also be of interest to Irish Americans who make up a significant percentage of Ireland’s tourism industry.
O’Leary told the Irish Independent: “If we wanted to get into the pan-European transatlantic market, then starting in Dublin would be the wrong place to start. It’s a tiny market. We’ll need something in the order of 30-50 aircraft. We’re not interested in doing something small scale.”
Ryanair currently has routes between several major European cities and have made travel across the continent far more affordable over the last 20 years. It is now the biggest airline in many countries including Britain, Spain and Italy.
O’Leary aims to keep the same low-cost philosophy if Ryanair were to enter the American market.
He said: “Our average price on short-haul (flights) across Europe is €46. We’d want to have an average price in economy on a transatlantic low-cost carrier of under €100.
“The average price should be somewhere in the mid-€80s or mid-€90s.”
O’Leary is well known for making outlandish claims in order to get publicity for Ryanair. However, whispers of flights to America have been around for a while. Hopefully they could become a reality in the not-too-distant future.